Will Michigan Central Station in Detroit Soon Find New Life with Ford?

“There’s a feeling that this is different. It’s going to be a matter of whether they can make the math work.”

An aerial view of Michigan Central Station.

An aerial view of Michigan Central Station.

Courtesy of the Detroit News

News broke this week that Ford Motor Company is in talks to purchase the Michigan Central Station building in Detroit’s Corktown district from the Moroun family. Crain’s Detroit Business reports that the status of the talks are unknown at this point. But sources familiar with the negotiations say Ford is interested in redeveloping the building, which has become an icon of Detroit’s former grandeur and it’s fall into decay.

The hope for many is that the building can soon also represent Detroit’s revitalization. But this isn’t the first time we’ve heard about plans to redevelop the train station, and each time this seems to come up, disappointment always seems to follow. 

Eric Kehoe, board president of Preservation Detroit, which seeks to preserve Detroit’s architectural and cultural heritage, joins Detroit Today to talk about the importance for the train station. He says says the station has a rich history.

“A lot of families can trace their heritage to the train station,” he says.

Chad Livengood, a senior reporter at Crain’s Detroit Business who broke the story, also joins Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to discuss the status of the talks and the likelihood of a deal being reached. He says Ford is an ideal buyer of the station. 

“People have always thought it was going to take someone with some heart for Detroit and also deep pockets to do so. The Ford Motor Company and the Ford family have both those requirements,” says Livengood.

Livengood also says that despite previous failed attempts to redevelop the station, there is a good deal of optimism that a deal will be reached.

“There’s a feeling that this is different.It’s going to be a matter of whether they can make the math work,” he says.

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.



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