Ford Possibly In Talks to Buy Detroit’s Michigan Central Station

Posted by at 3:19 am on March 20, 2018

Ford Motor Co. is in discussions to purchase the dilapidated Michigan Central Station in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood just outside of downtown, say reports.

The exact status of negotiations is unknown. But two sources familiar with the matter said a deal for the automaker to redevelop the 500,000-square-foot former train station off of Michigan Avenue owned for decades by the Moroun family could come as soon as next month.

If a deal comes to fruition, it would mark Ford’s biggest step back into the city where it was born, three months after announcing that it was going to put more than 200 employees just down Michigan Avenue in The Factory at Corktown building. A redeveloped train station could house more than 1,000 workers, depending on the layout.

“At this time, Ford is focused on locating our autonomous vehicle and electric vehicle business and strategy teams, including Team Edison, to The Factory in Detroit’s historic Corktown neighborhood,” Ford spokesman Said Deep said Monday in a statement to Crain’s Detroit Business. “While we anticipate our presence over time will grow as our (autonomous/electric vehicle) teams begin moving downtown in May, we have nothing further to announce at this time.”

One source familiar with Ford’s pursuit of the train station said the move is aimed at building a workplace in an urban setting that can attract younger workers to the automaker.

Ford company officials, including Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr., have said talent attraction was a driving factor in Ford buying The Factory building and embedding a team of employees focused on developing the business strategy for selling electric and autonomous vehicles of the future.

“Our young people love … living and working in urban areas,” Bill Ford Jr. said in January at the Detroit auto show.

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