Ford Poised to Take Over Detroit's Corktown Neighborhood: Report

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
ford poised to take over detroits corktown neighborhood report

Officially, there’s more than 220 Ford Motor Company employees ready to move into a refurbished former factory on Michigan Avenue in Detroit’s Corktown district sometime this year. A nice little burst of employment for a long-neglected, now-resurgent neighborhood, but it might be just the beginning.

The automaker is reportedly in talks with numerous property owners to create a campus totalling at least 1.1 million square feet, with the towering — and famously abandoned — Michigan Central Station as its anchor.

According to Crain’s Detroit Business (via Automotive News), sources claim Ford wants to amass a land holding consisting of 21 acres and dozens of buildings and properties. The bulk of the properties lie in a square bordered by Michigan Avenue, Rosa Parks Boulevard, the Fisher Freeway, and Trumbull Avenue, a few blocks east of the former train station.

Late last year, Ford announced the business and strategy teams for its electric and autonomous vehicle efforts would set up shop in The Factory at Corktown — a 45,000 square foot facility at the corner of Michigan and Rosa Parks. Earlier this year, it was learned Ford was in talks to purchase the nearby train depot.

Wrestling the property away from its owner, Matty Moroun, could be difficult, but one source told Crain’s that an announcement could come on May 10th. That’s the date of the automaker’s annual shareholders meeting. It’s possibly a grander vision for the area might be presented at that time.

If true, the creation of a corporate campus in Corktown would be a boon for the city of Detroit, where main revitalization (and repopulation) efforts have focused largely on the downtown core and Woodward Avenue spine. It also calls into question Ford’s intentions for its Dearborn base. In 2016, the automaker revealed a 10-year plan for a sprawling, green campus in that jurisdiction, looking like something right out of Silicon Valley.

Reportedly, the plan underwent a re-evaluation after Jim Hackett took the reins from former Ford CEO Mark Fields.

[Image: Ken Lund/ Flickr ( CC BY-SA 2.0)]

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  • Dantes_inferno Dantes_inferno on Apr 30, 2018

    >Ford Poised to Take Over Detroit’s Corktown Neighborhood: Report OCP's Ford Division to take over New Detroit's Corktown Neighborhood.

  • Jerome10 Jerome10 on Apr 30, 2018

    As with anything "good news" in Detroit, and with that d**n MCS.... I hope it pans out but I'll never believe it until I see it happening. I'll give Detroit props for what is going on downtown and midtown, but I still wonder if this is just a cheap debt kinda downturn and we're back to motor city 2007. I wouldn't be surprised if this is also an attempt to attract young employees to Ford. Cities are in, especially hip places like Corktown or Midtown. Sorry but Dearborn or Auburn Hills just isn't very attractive to the younger crowd. And that's on top of already struggling to get people to want to move to Michigan... A wonderful and beautiful state but with a reputation for horrid winters and low quality of life in the Metro Detroit area.

  • MaintenanceCosts Despite my hostile comments above I really can't wait to see a video of one of these at the strip. A production car running mid-eights is just bats. I just hope that at least one owner lets it happen, rather than offloading the car from the trailer straight into a helium-filled bag that goes into a dark secured warehouse until Barrett-Jackson 2056.
  • Schurkey Decades later, I'm still peeved that Honda failed to recall and repair the seat belts in my '80 Civic. Well-known issue with the retractors failing to retract.Honda cut a deal with the NHTSA at that time, to put a "lifetime warranty" on FUTURE seat belts, in return for not having to deal with the existing problems.Dirtbags all around. Customers screwed, corporation and Government moves on.
  • Bullnuke An acquaintance of mine 50+ years ago who was attending MIT (until General Hershey's folks sent him his "Greetings" letter) converted an Austin Mini from its staid 4 cylinder to an electric motored fuel cell vehicle. It was done as a project during his progression toward a Master Degree in Electrical Engineering. He told me it worked pretty well but wasn't something to use as a daily driver given the technology and availability of suitable components of the time. Fueling LH2 and LOX was somewhat problematic. Upon completion he removed his fuel cell and equipment and, for another project, reinstalled the 4 banger but reassembled it without mechanical fasteners using an experimental epoxy adhesive instead which, he said, worked much better and was a daily driver...for awhile. He went on to be an enlisted Reactor Operator on a submarine for a few years.
  • Ajla $100k is walking around money but this is almost certainly the last Dodge V8 vehicle and it's likely to be the most powerful factory-installed and warrantied pushrod engine ever. So there is some historical applicability to things even if you have an otherwise low opinion of the Challenger.And, like I said up thread, if you still hate it will be gone soon anyway.
  • Carlson Fan GM completely blew the marketing of the Volt. The commercials were terrible. You'd swear they told the advertising company to come up with an ad that would make sure no one went out and shopped a Volt after seeing it!...........LOL My buddy asked why I bought a car that only goes 40 miles on a charge? That pretty much sums up how confusing and uninformative the advertising was.