Ford Motor Company this week announced that it will spend some $740 million over the next four years in order to rehabilitate and develop Michigan Central Station in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood, as well as another 45 acres of vacant land in the surrounding area. That price tag includes what Ford originally spent to acquire the long-defunct train station from the Moroun family in June, as well as the cost of the nearby land, and it “takes into account the requirements of restoring a historic building such as the train station,” the automaker says.
The project doesn’t require capital beyond what Ford committed to the 10-year campus overhaul project it announced in 2016, the company says.
Ford plans to transform the dilapidated former train station into an office building to accommodate as many as 5,000 engineers and other employees working on the automaker’s EVs, self-driving car program, and related technologies and services. The first floor of the 500k-square-foot train station will also serve as mixed-use space, hosting a number of restaurants and other vendors, Ford said in June.
Some of the expense of Ford’s development project could be canceled out by tax breaks; the company said this week that it is seeking at least $250 million “in tax or other incentives to support the development of the five Corktown sites Ford has purchased.” Those Corktown sites include The Factory at Corktown – a former hosiery factory that’s stood for more than 100 years – and a building nextdoor to Michigan Central Station that served for years as a Detroit Public Schools book depository.