Wayne State University Board of Governors approves sale of former Criminal Justice Building, redevelopment planned


On Dec. 2, the Wayne State University Board of Governors unanimously approved the $2 million sale of a six-story building located at 6001 Cass Avenue, commonly known as the former Criminal Justice Building.

Built in 1920, the 147,500-square-foot building was designed by renowned architect Albert Kahn. Originally known as the Cadillac Sales and Services Building, it contained offices and a showroom. In the 1970s, it was converted into classrooms for Wayne State University’s criminal justice program. Now vacant, the building has been used for Detroit Police Department training courses over the years.

The property is being sold to Platform LLC, the development arm of Peter Cummings, Mike Hammond and Dietrich Knoer. Redevelopment of the former Criminal Justice Building will include approximately 69 residential units, 19,000 square feet of retail space and a permanent Wayne State University art gallery.

“This is an exciting project for the university. This will bring activity, residents and retail to the corridor connecting TechTown with the main campus,” said William Decatur, vice president of finance, treasurer and CFO for Wayne State. “We are able to transform a historic building that has been dormant for years and revive it into something that will be beneficial for everyone.”

The deal also includes a long-term ground lease of the adjacent property at 445 York Street — currently a surface parking lot — that will allow for the construction of a parking structure to include 543 spaces, 220 of which will be retained by Wayne State.

A total of 181 residential units are planned. This includes the 69 residential units in the former Criminal Justing Building and approximately 64 apartment units and 48 condo units at the site of 445 York Street — bordering Antoinette Street, Cass Avenue and York Street.

“We are thrilled that this project will not only help bring new life to Wayne State’s north campus, but also bring another gallery and top attraction to Detroit,” said Cummings, principal of The Platform. “This goes hand in hand with our goal of creating community and revitalizing our city.”

Both properties are located in the north end of Wayne State’s main campus, which borders the TechTown area, an urban research and technology business park located in Detroit’s New Center area. The properties are also within two blocks of WSU’s newly constructed Integrative Biosciences Center.