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DETROIT-The chairman of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) board of directors has purchased a warehouse building in the city’s culture corridor for possible use as an art gallery. Richard Manoogian, chairman and CEO of the Masco Corp. in Taylor, purchased the building through the Richard and Jane Manoogian Foundation. He is a well-known art collector.

The purchase price was $348,000, said Lillian Bauder, Masco’s vice president for corporate affairs and vice chairman of the DIA. “The building was purchased with the hope that over time it could be used for some broadly defined art purposes,” she told GlobeSt.com.

The Woodward Avenue building measures about 20,000 sf, and has high ceilings and wide areas. “It’s ideal for more contemporary art work and uses,” Bauder said.

However, she said the decision about what to do with the building is at least six months to a year off. “We would probably want to work out with many nonprofits that would use the building what to do, and that has to be done in private first,” she said. “We don’t want to discuss it publicly until it’s been approved through each one of the board of directors.”

The Woodward Corridor in Downtown Detroit is best known as a place for culture and entertainment. Along the corridor are the C-Pop, G.R.N‚ Namdi and Detroit Artist Market galleries, the DIA, the Detroit Historical Museum, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s facility Orchestra Hall, the Detroit Science Center and the Detroit Library, to name a few.

“We have an interesting convergence of art-related galleries and institutions, just a whole corridor culture,” Bauder said. “This new gallery would be a natural development for the area. This is one of the avenues to watch,” she added.

Manoogian’s purchase is a small part of a plan by local culture lovers to buy up buildings in the area and redevelop them. The DIA is also working on a capital campaign to raise money for art, operations and redevelopment. The campaign is the most aggressive in the museum’s 116-year history, with a $331 million goal. Included in the building improvements is a 35,000-sf expansion to the museum’s South Wing, which the DIA broke ground for last year.

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