By TONY BETTON
DETROIT — An eyesore for more than three decades, the Michigan Central Train Station is finally getting a highly anticipated makeover.
The dilapidated building is in Corktown, an area east of downtown that has become trendy in recent years. In June, Ford Motor Co. announced it had purchased the 105-year-old building, which has been vacant for more than three decades.
“Ford is going to be at the forefront again of helping to push and decide and provide support for how people move around the country,” said Shawn Wilson, Ford multicultural community engagement manager. “It will be a place you can live, work and play.”
The Dearborn-based automaker is expected to redevelop the 500,000-square-foot structure as part of its plans for a campus focusing on autonomous vehicles and other technological advances. The automaker also purchased property in the surrounding area of the station with plans to focus on technology and to develop spaces for retail shops, offices and residential housing. Ford officials say it could create thousands of tech-related jobs and residents say it will give the community new life.
Detroit residents are optimistic about the prospects of it becoming a symbol of revival with Ford’s redevelopment project.
“Ford will be a place where their mobility team can work on developing autonomous cars and work on their mobility aspect of everything they are trying to do,” said Mike Woolfolk, a native Detroiter and longtime NABJ member who is looking forward to the renovation.