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*UPDATED* Is Ford planning to purchase and renovate Detroit’s long-abandoned Michigan Central Station?

The vacant building has been at the center of many renovation proposals since it closed in 1988.

May 02, 2018 |

Courtesy Albert Duce, Wikimedia Commons

Ford recently confirmed its interest in purchasing Michigan Central Station in Corktown. According to Crain’s Detroit Business, Edsel Ford II said the company’s board of directors was made aware of plans to purchase the infamously abandoned station as part of a redevelopment of Corktown. The building is currently owned by the family of billionaire Manuel Moroun.

The station, its 230-foot-tall, 18-floor office tower, and the 110,000-sf concourse have been vacant since 1988. Despite recent improvements, such as the installation of 1,100 new windows at a cost of $8 million, the abandoned facility would require a substantial reconstruction and renovation effort to get it back to working order.


See Also: Ford begins 10-year plan to centralize Dearborn, Mich., campus


Ford has already purchased a building in Corktown and wants to establish a campus in the area to have its autonomous and electric vehicle units in one spot. The interest in purchasing Michigan Central Station to spur a redevelopment in the Corktown area could be an attempt to attract young talent to support the company’s more future-forward goals, i.e. its autonomous and electric vehicle plans.  

Michigan Central Station has been the focus of many potential restoration projects, but, to this point, none have been able to move passed the negotiation phase.



Ford has officially purchased Michigan Central Station. According to the Detroit Free Pressthe campus will become the hub of a new campus focused on advanced automotive technology. Ford also purchased the neighboring book depository building, also owned by the Morouns. More details about Ford's plans for the site will be revealed at a media event on June 19th.

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