Ford Motor executives on Tuesday stated the automaker is going to renovate and redevelop Michigan Central Station, Detroit’s infamous blighted landmark, transforming it into offices for up to 5,000 tech workers and software engineers dedicated to self-driving vehicles and ancillary technologies and services.
Discussing with a large crowd outside the grand, yet dilapidated 18-story Michigan Central Station, Ford family scion and the automaker’s executive chairman, Bill Ford, remembered how the railway station, opened in 1914, brought countless thousands of immigrants to Detroit during its heyday, before shutting down in 1988 and falling into disrepair.
“This became a place where hope left, it became a symbol of the city’s hard times” Ford informed a crowd gathered in front of the looming structure. “We have big plans for this building.”
Company officials did not reveal information of the planned investment but stated the project will be finished using some of the money earlier allocated to an overhaul of Ford’s headquarter campus located in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn.
That project has been estimated at $1.2 billion. The automaker is also going to receive unspecified tax incentives and benefits from Detroit and the state of Michigan.
Discussing with reporters inside the station building, Bill Ford stated that the investment here in Corktown, Detroit’s oldest neighborhood, would be good for the automaker’s brand, generate jobs, facilitate the testing of self-driving vehicles and attract bright young software engineers.