Bill Ford making the announcement about future Mobility Center. Photo by Rolco Sports & Entertainment Network
By Raymond Rolak, Automotive Editor
DETROIT– On the 115 birthday-month the Ford Motor Company is positioning themselves as the transportation corporation of the future. They have acquired the iconic Michigan Central Railroad Station. An exciting plan and vision to extend the leadership of transportation mobility through the 21st Century has been put in place by the blue oval automaker. “Michigan Central Station is a powerful symbol of Detroit’s struggles and now its resurgence, but Ford’s investment in Corktown is far from symbolic,” said Bill Ford, the company’s executive chairman. “We aren’t just making a bet on Detroit. We are making a big bet on the future for Ford and the future of transportation. It’s exciting to imagine what’s possible as we build tomorrow, together.”
Ford Motor Company has rededicated the newly attained and massive building as the center of the Ford Mobility Corridor. Ford acquired the building from the controversial Matty Moroun and Co.
Ford family in front of the Iconic Michigan Central Station. Photo by Rolco Sports & Entertainment Network
Opened at the end of 1913, in recent years, the station has been an eyesore to many. The progress will spur development and increase property values in the area. The expansion and improvement will anchor the Corktown, Southwest Detroit, and Mexican-town neighborhoods. The estimated Ford Corktown campus will be 1.2 million square feet, 600,000 will be composed of the Michigan Central Station. There will be a mix of community retail space, residential housing and the Ford Mobility Corridor.
Picture Postcard of the Iconic Michigan Central Station, circa 1956. Photo provided by the Detroit Historical Museum
It is expected to bring 5,000 jobs to the area. Initial plans include locating approximately 2,500 Ford employees, mostly from the mobility team. There will also be space to accommodate 2,500 additional employees of partners and other businesses.
“Detroit is open for business for good,” Ford Chairman Bill Ford said as a few thousand Ford employees and guests gathered for the celebration. He added, “That is the point of technology, making lives better.” Ford had praise for the vision of his great grandfather, grandfather, Uncle Henry II and Dad William Clay. He also praised Jim Hacket, Ford president and CEO. According to Hackett, this will be “the linchpin of a new mobility corridor” that stretches from Detroit to Dearborn to Willow Run to Ann Arbor.
Entertainment for the upbeat event included the Detroit Children’s Choir and Detroit native son and hip-hopper, ‘Big Sean’.
In recent years, the railroad station was used as the backdrop for movies, including “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” in 2016, “8 Mile” in 2002 and “Transformers” in 2007.
Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks and SUVs. It is at the forefront of electrified vehicles and hybrids. It also provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is at the lead in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. It also has a vast real-estate portfolio. Ford employs approximately 202,000 people worldwide.
The Michigan Central Station project is slated for completion sometime in 2022. This weekend, the Ford Motor Company celebration continues as the Michigan Central Station is open to the public. It is a rare chance to view living history. The project is not expected to be open again for observation until completed.