Ford Mulls Mobility Test Site Behind Michigan Central Station

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
ford mulls mobility test site behind michigan central station

As part of its planned $740 million campus development project in Detroit’s Corktown, Ford is planning a vehicle testing site behind the once-abandoned Michigan Central Station. The land was already earmarked to serve as home base for the company’s latest mobility projects, so the space will be used for exactly that. However, due to location’s size, it’ll probably be relegated to projects outside the normal automotive scope.

Mary Culler, director of Michigan Central Station’s redevelopment, teased what the site might look like further down the line at the Detroit Policy Conference on Wednesday. The prospective testing ground was clearly shown in a slide during her presentation, located at the site of the station’s old loading area. However, the site isn’t expected to be operational until 2023, as the book depository and station renovations take precedence.

According to Crain’s Detroit Business, Christina Twelftree, Ford’s Corktown spokeswoman, said ample space exists for autonomous cars but suggested smaller products (e-bikes, scooters, etc.) could end up being the facility’s primary target. She said the automaker is still in the planning phase, adding that no formal decision has been made.

From Crain’s:

The automaker also continues to tout its presence in Detroit as not just that of any developer, but a “neighbor” who will “make decisions that support equitable outcomes” and “contribute to an inclusive and authentic place,” according to a list of “guiding principles” presented by Culler on Wednesday. Ford is compelled by a community benefits agreement with the city to spend $5 million for education and workforce training programs, $2.5 million for a city revolving loan fund for real estate development and $2.5 million for affordable housing projects.

This comes over fears that Ford’s development project is pushing up real estate prices in and around now-trendy Corktown. The neighborhood was already in the midst of a revitalization program before the Blue Oval moved on the train station. Some fear the area’s prices are off base with the rest of Detroit and want to know exactly what the automaker has planned for the neighborhood.

Cullen neglected to make any additional commitments, possibly because the project is still far from complete, saying Ford will remain committed to the local community.

[Image: Patrick Cooper/Shutterstock]

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  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Jan 29, 2020

    What is the matter with the fear that home prices will go up. I would be extremely happy when home prices in my area go up and they went up 100% last 5 years.

    • See 7 previous
    • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Feb 01, 2020

      @Art Vandelay For a typical home in Corktown, property taxes may have increased minimally over the past 10 years, while the price of the property may have doubled in the past five years (check out Leverette St. or Bagley St. on for typical examples). As a renter, my major concern wouldn't be the property taxes, it would be the rise in value (and hence my rent). The majority of Corktown residents are renters.

  • EBFlex EBFlex on Jan 30, 2020

    Still can't believe that a company that can't find the money to produce a QUALITY vehicle spent almost a billion on that dump. Furniture guy is really smart with money...

  • S J I’m here to say I don’t know about H #, but in German b flat is sometimes called “H”.Thats why composers (Liszt IIRC) could compose a theme and variations on B A C H.b flat sharp would be C, so there wouldn’t be a point.
  • Tassos The original, iconic 1964 Mustang sold for about $2,000.Is anybody still in doubt that the US Dollar has gone straight to hell?
  • Tassos I just read in Electrek that Lucid had to lay off 18% of its workforce, which amounts to a HUGE (considering the very meager production numbers) ONE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED hard to replace employees laid off!!!
  • Kevin That wagon isn't worth 35,000 I paid 4,700 for a 68 chevelle and worth 80,000 today, when I bought it was 10x better shape than that but if someone wants it have at it but wouldn't be me.
  • MaintenanceCosts Assuming a level of refinement that's appropriately improved over the 9 years since the last car, these prices seem totally appropriate to me.