REPORTS: Ford May Buy Michigan Central Station.. Or It Might Be A Tenant In It

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Ford’s first cars were built in the city of Detroit, in a garage over on Bagley street where the Michigan Building now stands.

Recently, the automaker that has for years has made Dearborn their home is again putting money back in the city of Detroit.

The possible deal would open a new chapter for the 1913 Beaux Arts building and will change the Corktown neighborhood, adding what could be a thousand employees to what’s been one of the hottest residential neighborhoods in the city.

As of this writing, 3:11 p.m., there are two story tracks.

Crain’s Detroit Business is reporting that Ford would buy it, and the deal could close as early as next month.

The Detroit News is reporting that Ford would be a major tenant in a project, but would not be the purchaser and a transaction is not imminent. 

It’s important to note a deal isn’t done.

“We’re always working to bring an opportunity to the train station. When we do get a serious entity looking at it, those are details we don’t share. At this time, we don’t have any deal to report.” – Michael Samhat, president of Crown Enterprises, told Crain’s.

Multiple sources confirm to Daily Detroit that Ford has been looking at the property for awhile now.

So something’s definitely afoot.

The 504,000 square foot building has sat empty under the ownership of billionaire Matty Maroun’s Crown Enterprises. The Maroun family also owns the Ambassador Bridge.

Michigan Central Station has been one of Detroit’s largest symbols of decline. It was built as a “Temple of Transportation,” and in a way, under the ownership of a car company, it would be again.

Detroit-based companies, especially the automakers, have struggled to attract and retain talent as Detroit’s sprawling suburbs aren’t as appealing to millennial workers as cities like Chicago or New York.

Metro Detroit has among the lowest percentage of millenial residents in the nation.

The train station — along with a long-rumored QLINE extension that would connect that neighborhood — may be seen as a more attractive option than the sprawling Ford campus in Dearborn.

Ford recently moved 220 employees to the Corktown neighborhood to focus on next-generation mobility.

If a Michigan Central Station project were to happen, this isn’t the first foray into city mega projects for Ford. The iconic General Motors Renaissance Center was the idea of Henry Ford II and financed by Ford Motor Company in the 1970s.

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