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article imageFord purchases Detroit's historic Michigan Central Station

By Ken Hanly     Jun 11, 2018 in Business
Detroit - The Michigan Central Station has been for some time a symbol of Detroit's decline but now will be part of Ford's aim to change the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit into the automotive company's automotive technology group's campus.
Deal completed
Matthew Moroun, whose family owned the building since 1995 said at the announcement:“The deal is complete.. The future of the depot is assured. The next steward of the building is the right one for its future. The depot will become a shiny symbol of Detroit’s progress and its success."
The supposedly secret deal has been known about for months. It should help revitalize the desolate Corktown area next door to the thriving downtown area.
The deal should help Detroit as neighborhoods surrounding the revived downtown area have been unable to keep up. There is plenty of room in the Corktown area for new housing and businesses. A redevelopment of the Michigan Central Station could help generate the investment and rebuilding needed in the neighborhood.
This is not the first Ford development in the area. At the start of 2018, Ford announced that it would put 200 employees in The Factory which is less than half a mile from the Central Station. The redeveloped Michigan Central Station could house up to 1,000 Ford employees. Most employees now are located in the suburb of Dearborn.
Station has long been unused by railroads
The Michigan Central Station is over 100 years old having been completed in 1913 and was a bustling rail hub for decades. However, as people began to travel more by car and plane, the demand for rail service went into decline. In 1986, for example, the 3-story depot handled approximately 64,000 passengers down from 82,400 the year before. Two years later it closed. It was vandalized by scavengers who took everything of value including wiring and plumbing. The Moroun family installed new windows and working lights a few years ago.
The station was last used by Amtrak in 1988 with the final train leaving 30 years ago now.. It has been vacant since but is still a must see destination for urban explorers.
The announcement of the sale was made in front of the 500,000 square foot building. Owner "Matty" Moroun said that an announcement of the Ford company's plans for the building will be made next week. The redevelopment plans have been spearheaded by Ford board member Edsel B. Ford II. After the building with its massive columns has served as a symbol of Detroit's decline it may now become a symbol of its return to being a thriving city.
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