As reported last month, Ford Motor Company is taking over some former retail space at the Fairlane Town Center shopping mall in Dearborn, Michigan, with plans to build it out into product development offices. Of the 240,000 or so square-feet to be utilized by Ford, approximately half will occupy a two-story space once held by department store Lord & Taylor – a location that has been closed since 2006.
Fairlane Town Center was built in 1976 by the Taubman Company, and acquired in 2014 by Starwood Capital Group as part of a $1.4 billion, 7-mall deal, reports MLive. But according to Chuck Bechara of Starwood Retail Partners, Fairlane was considered “kind of the slow one, the one we took along with [the deal].”
However, as time went on, “[Fairlane] turned out to be one of our shining stars.” Partly, that’s because sales-per-foot have increased from about $335 when the mall was acquired, to more than $400 today. And partly, it’s because of Ford’s investment in the property. Bechara referred to the Ford lease as “really a lynchpin in the revitalization and, I think, solidification of our mall in the market.” He says that more investment in the mall is sure to follow.
Details of the Ford build-out aren’t yet available, but renovations are expected to begin by the end of the year. MLive says that the office space won’t necessarily be obvious to mall-shoppers, as it will be kept private and secure.