Ford Motor Company officials confirmed to shareholders last week its plans to grow its presence in Detroit, stopping short of confirming any details about a potential deal to acquire the city’s disused Michigan Central Station, Crain’s Detroit Business reports. Late last year, Ford announced that it had purchased The Factory at Corktown – a 110-year-old former hosiery factory in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood – and planned to relocate some 220 Team Edison employees there. Michigan Central Station would give the automaker another outpost in Corktown, and Crain’s has learned that Ford is in talks about purchasing nearly another 50 properties there.
“As a company we are in a race for talent when it comes to the vehicle, software and data engineers that are developing the autonomous technology and creating mobility experiences and services that will transform the way people connect and interact,” Ford said during its May 10th meeting with investors. “That is why we continue to build out our presence in Palo Alto, advance our software capabilities at FordLabs in Ann Arbor, transform our Dearborn campus, and why we are moving our AV and EV teams to Corktown in Detroit.
“We expect to grow our presence in Detroit and will share more details in the future.”
Ford CEO Jim Hackett is said to be reviewing the automaker’s sweeping, expensive Dearborn campus renovation plans, which were initiated under his predecessor, Mark Fields. The renovations were projected to take a decade to complete, at a cost of more than $1 billion. Both that campus transformation plan and Ford’s more recent efforts to expand into Corktown appear to be driven largely by the desire to woo fresh young talent, although Edsel B. Ford II said last month in an interview that the Corktown expansion might also be be rooted in a desire to lump “driverless car people” together in an urban setting.