A hulking symbol of Detroit’s decline, the vacant Michigan Central Station is finally getting a second lease on life. Last week, Ambassador Bridge baron Matthew Maroun confirmed months-long rumors that his family had sold the former Corktown train depot to Ford Motor Company.
While the specific plans for the new Ford campus in Corktown are still in development, Ford’s chairman William C. Ford Jr. revealed the overall vision over the weekend. That includes the development of a “innovation hub” for “the future of transportation.” Most notably, Ford plans to keep certain aspects of the historic building open to the public. Preliminary conceptual renderings of the site released by Ford show a ground floor and Grand Lobby dedicated to “market hall” filled with local retail, coffee shops, and restaurant vendors.
Exactly how the new Ford campus will fit into the overall culture of Corktown, undeniably one of Detroit’s hottest dining neighborhoods and real estate markets, remains to be seen. Businesses in the area including Nemo’s and Hygrade Deli have expressed cautious optimism about the project, while some employees and residents say they’re worried about how the redevelopment might impact their cost of living.
Ford is expected to outline more details of the mixed-use redevelopment project — a massive undertaking that the company estimates will take roughly four years to complete — during a media and public preview scheduled for Tuesday, June 19.
Open houses offering a look inside the iconic building will run from Friday, June 22 through Sunday, June 24. Keep track of all the major updates on the development at Curbed Detroit.
• Ford Aims to Revive a Detroit Train Station, and Itself [NYT]
• How Ford Plans to Resurrect the Train Station [Detroit News]
• Here’s What We Know About Ford’s Move to Detroit [CDET]
• Ford Moves Into Detroit and Corktown [CDET]