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

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

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)]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

More by Steph Willems

Join the conversation
2 of 14 comments
  • 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.

  • ToolGuy The other day I attempted to check the engine oil in one of my old embarrassing vehicles and I guess the red shop towel I used wasn't genuine Snap-on (lots of counterfeits floating around) plus my driveway isn't completely level and long story short, the engine seized 3 minutes later.No more used cars for me, and nothing but dealer service from here on in (the journalists were right).
  • Doughboy Wow, Merc knocks it out of the park with their naming convention… again. /s
  • Doughboy I’ve seen car bras before, but never car beards. ZZ Top would be proud.
  • Bkojote Allright, actual person who knows trucks here, the article gets it a bit wrong.First off, the Maverick is not at all comparable to a Tacoma just because they're both Hybrids. Or lemme be blunt, the butch-est non-hybrid Maverick Tremor is suitable for 2/10 difficulty trails, a Trailhunter is for about 5/10 or maybe 6/10, just about the upper end of any stock vehicle you're buying from the factory. Aside from a Sasquatch Bronco or Rubicon Jeep Wrangler you're looking at something you're towing back if you want more capability (or perhaps something you /wish/ you were towing back.)Now, where the real world difference should play out is on the trail, where a lot of low speed crawling usually saps efficiency, especially when loaded to the gills. Real world MPG from a 4Runner is about 12-13mpg, So if this loaded-with-overlander-catalog Trailhunter is still pulling in the 20's - or even 18-19, that's a massive improvement.
  • Lou_BC "That’s expensive for a midsize pickup" All of the "offroad" midsize trucks fall in that 65k USD range. The ZR2 is probably the cheapest ( without Bison option).