Ford buys long-vacant Michigan Central Station in Detroit

Owners of Detroit's decaying, iconic train station to discuss its future

Vacant for 30 years, the 500,000 square-foot train station - designed by the same architectural firms behind Grand Central Terminal in NY and with a main waiting room built to resemble an ancient Roman bathhouse - is widely seen as a symbol of Detroit's decades-long industrial decay.

With the train station sold, Matthew Moroun said Monday he would now turn his attention to his family's long-fought plans to build a second Detroit River bridge. As part of a land swap deal with the city for the Morouns' long-planned new Ambassador Bridge, Mayor Mike Duggan had prodded Matthew Moroun to make the train station look less like an empty shell for visitors to photograph.

"The Ford Motor Company's Blue Oval will adorn the building".

In this photo taken August 4, 2015, crews make progress on the window installations of the historic Michigan Central Station in Detroit.

According to Moroun, negotiations started last October. The building will no doubt need tens of millions of dollars worth of renovations and upgrades for modern technology needs. "The developer had to be the owner and the user". The announcement came in front of the 500,000-square-foot, 18-story station that closed in 1988.

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"We held strong over many years".

Ford is thought to be planning it as the anchor of an urban mobility campus in Detroit's steadily revitalizing Corktown neighborhood, named for its waves of immigrants from Ireland's County Cork, including the ancestors of Ford Chairman Bill Ford Jr. The project also eliminated asbestos and debris, secured it from trespassers and vandals and installed a freight elevator, Moroun said. Detroit Homecoming IV was the first time the building officially opened its doors to the public since the 1980s.

Next week, Ford expects to reveal more details about its plans for the two buildings. Ford's last employees left the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit in 1996 as the company consolidated its operations in Dearborn.

The Moroun family has owned the iconic building since 1992.

"I am excited about this announcement that will bring an end to many decades of blight", Chang said in a statement.


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