Newlab Michigan Central
Detroit, MI

Newlab at Michigan Central is a 270,000-sf new home for mobility-focused entrepreneurs to build breakthrough companies that accelerate the development of new, sustainable, and equitable solutions at the intersection of mobility and society. Michigan Central is supported by Ford's commitment to help advance future technologies and skills. Newlab’s latest home is the first building to open at the major redevelopment, a 30-acre site with the renewed Michigan Central Station at its center.

Located in the newly restored Book Depository building in Detroit, DBI Projects managed this dynamic workplace and R&D facility in collaboration with Newlab, playing an integral role in the coordination of design and construction teams and ensuring the project vision was achieved. The facility will serve up-and-coming startups, entrepreneurs, engineers, and scientists by providing cutting-edge resources, as well as purpose-built workspaces to accelerate R&D processes.

Building on the success of Newlab at Brooklyn Navy Yard, Newlab engaged DBI Projects to lead the development of their Detroit Headquarters. Together, DBI and Newlab collaborated to establish the project’s program, vision, and construction strategy. DBI worked closely with the project’s interior designer and architectural design consultant, Nicko Elliott of CIVILIAN, to reimagine the building. This includes multiple shop spaces and prototyping labs, each with state-of-the-art equipment, catering to different materiality including digital fabrication, metal, casting, robotics, metrology, textiles and CNC capabilities to name a few. In addition to the robust shops, the facility includes spaces for collaboration, individual tenant offices, a cafe, event spaces, and exhibition opportunities.

“Detroit, the beating heart of American ingenuity, is not only the birthplace of manufacturing and the modern automotive industry; it is the place where the next century of mobility innovation will be imagined and built,” said David Belt, Co-Founder of Newlab. “The Book Depository building—designed by the legendary Detroit architect, Albert Kahn—has been empty for 30 years and is an emblem of Detroit’s rich history. Now, Michigan Central and Newlab are excited to breathe new life into the building by laying the foundation for Detroit’s future while paying homage to its past.”

We are proud to continue our partnership with Newlab, as well as being a key team member in reimagining Detroit’s iconic Book Depository, breathing new life and energy into the previously abandoned space, and ensuring Detroit’s legacy of innovation lives on long into the future.