June 16, 2024
June 16, 2024
Close this search box.

Michigan State endowment buys 79% stake in iconic Detroit skyscraper

Michigan State endowment buys 79% stake in iconic Detroit skyscraper

Michigan State University’s substantial $3.9 billion endowment fund has taken on a significant role as the primary investor in the Fisher Building, a renowned art deco tower located in the heart of downtown Detroit. This recent development was officially announced by the university on Tuesday.

With an investment of $21 million, the fund has secured a commanding 79% ownership stake in not only the Fisher Building but also two adjacent surface parking lots and a parking structure. Joining forces in ownership are real estate developer The Platform and the MSU Federal Credit Union.

Interim President of Michigan State University, Teresa Woodruff, expressed the institution’s commitment to being an integral part of Detroit’s rich history and dynamic atmosphere through this new investment.

The Fisher Building, standing tall at 30 stories, is widely regarded as a masterpiece in Detroit, boasting a stunning marble exterior, a three-story arcade with a hand-painted barrel-vaulted ceiling, exquisite mosaics, and intricate brass detailing. Designed by architect Albert Kahn in 1928, the building is a recognized landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Noteworthy are the green terra-cotta tiles adorning its tower, which are known to glow golden when illuminated at night. The building accommodates offices on its upper levels, retail spaces on the ground floor, and is home to the esteemed Fisher Theatre.

In addition to the Fisher Building investment, Michigan State University’s fund has recently ventured into an affordable housing project in collaboration with The Platform. Furthermore, partnerships with Henry Ford Health and the Detroit Pistons have led to other joint developments in the surrounding area.

Peter Cummings, Executive Chair and CEO of The Platform, commended Michigan State University’s dedication to Detroit and specifically the New Center neighborhood through their investments. The Platform has invested over $30 million in enhancing the building through capital improvements, maintenance, and upgrades, culminating in the decision to list the property for sale in 2021.

Looking ahead, Michigan State University’s Research Foundation is gearing up to launch a startup incubator within the Fisher Building later this year, further solidifying the university’s presence and impact in the Detroit community.

Michigan State Endowment Acquires Majority Stake in Detroit Skyscraper

In a significant move, Michigan State University’s endowment fund has purchased a 79% stake in one of Detroit’s most iconic skyscrapers, further solidifying the university’s presence in the city’s real estate market. The building, known for its striking architecture and historical significance, has long been a focal point in Detroit’s skyline.

Details of the Acquisition

The skyscraper in question is the renowned “Fisher Building,” located in the New Center area of Detroit. Built in 1928, the 30-story building has stood as a symbol of Detroit’s resilience and innovation for nearly a century. The acquisition by Michigan State University’s endowment fund marks a major investment in the city’s urban development and economic growth.

Benefits of the Purchase

There are several key benefits to Michigan State’s acquisition of a majority stake in the Fisher Building:

  • Enhanced Revenue Streams: The addition of the Fisher Building to Michigan State’s real estate portfolio is expected to generate significant rental income and add value to the university’s endowment fund.
  • Preservation of Historical Landmark: By taking ownership of the iconic skyscraper, Michigan State has committed to preserving and maintaining this architectural gem for future generations.
  • Community Engagement: The university’s involvement in Detroit’s real estate market fosters collaboration and partnership with local stakeholders, contributing to the city’s revitalization efforts.

Case Studies

Similar acquisitions by university endowment funds have proven to be successful models for sustainable urban development and long-term financial growth. For example, Harvard University’s endowment fund owns several properties in Boston, which have not only generated substantial returns but also contributed to the city’s cultural and economic vibrancy.

Practical Tips for Real Estate Investments

For institutions considering real estate investments, it is essential to conduct thorough due diligence, assess market conditions, and strategize for long-term sustainability. Diversifying the investment portfolio with high-quality properties in desirable locations can help mitigate risks and optimize returns.

Michigan State’s Vision for the Future

Michigan State University’s expansion into Detroit’s real estate market aligns with its broader vision of fostering innovation, entrepreneurship, and community development. By leveraging the Fisher Building’s unique position in the city’s landscape, the university aims to create new opportunities for engagement, education, and economic growth.


The acquisition of a majority stake in the Fisher Building represents a significant milestone for Michigan State University and underscores its commitment to supporting Detroit’s resurgence. By investing in iconic landmarks and partnering with local communities, the university is poised to make a lasting impact on the city’s future.

Michigan State Endowment Fund Iconic Detroit Skyscraper
Strategic Investment Historical Significance
Long-Term Sustainability Architectural Gem
Community Engagement Economic Growth



Most Popular

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.
On Key

Related Posts