Google says it will join Ford as a tenant at Michigan Central Station in Corktown when restoration of Detroit’s largest monument to blight is complete. Ford Motor Company officials say that work could be finished by early 2023.
The announcement comes as City of Detroit and Michigan officials detail commitments they’re making to the public-private effort.
“Every time an inventor has an idea in mobility we are going to vet it and find the safest, most prompt way for them to try it out.” — Mike Duggan, Detroit Mayor
Ruth Porat is chief financial officer at Alphabet Inc. and its subsidiary Google. She says the company will use the location to help prepare local students for high-tech jobs.
“What we’ll be doing here,” says Porat, “is providing computer science training skills for high school kids after school, on weekends so that they too have access to one of these exciting new jobs of the future.”
Porat says entering Michigan Central as a founding member also opens up long-term options for Google.
Last year Ford Motor Company entered a partnership with Google to assist the automaker in developing autonomous vehicles. Officials with the tech giant, whose self-driving car company Waymo has infrastructure in Detroit, say it views its presence at the old train station as an asset for future mobility projects.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says the city will help with those efforts. He says the area around Michigan Central Station will be designated as a “Transportation Innovation Zone.”
“The City of Detroit has a team now of our lawyers, our engineers, our permitting folks, our roads folks,” says Duggan. “Every time an inventor has an idea in mobility we are going to vet it and find the safest, most prompt way for them to try it out.”
The State of Michigan says it’s putting $126 million toward new and existing projects aimed at turning the area around the former train depot into a hub for mobility.