Ford Celebrates Opening Of New Technology Hub In Detroit

Ford Turns Detroit Relic Into A New Technology Hub...

Ford's Michigan Central Station. (Ford).

Ford Motor Company is set to unveil the renovated Michigan Central Station, offering the public a first look at the historic building’s restored ground floor. This event, part of the Michigan Central OPEN from June 6-16, marks the completion of an extensive six-year renovation effort. The project aims to transform the station into a vibrant technology and cultural hub in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood.

A Vision for Detroit’s Future –

After acquiring the abandoned train station in 2018, Ford embarked on a mission to restore and reimagine the iconic Beaux-Arts building. The station, which first opened in 1913, had been vacant since 1988, suffering from neglect and decay. Ford’s renovation effort, involving over 1.7 million hours of work, has meticulously returned the station to its former architectural glory while equipping it with modern technology and infrastructure.

Bill Ford, Executive Chair of Ford Motor Company, emphasized the importance of the project: “Michigan Central means a great deal to us all. This building tells the story of our city. It was our Ellis Island—a place where dreamers in search of new opportunities first set foot in Detroit. Over the past six years, teams of forward thinkers, designers, community leaders, and more than 3,000 skilled tradespeople have worked to bring this landmark back to life.”

A Hub for Innovation and Collaboration –

Ford’s Michigan Central Station. (Ford).

Michigan Central will serve as a centerpiece for a 30-acre district dedicated to technology and innovation. It will bring together Ford employees, external partners, entrepreneurs, students, and even competitors to co-create new products, services, and technologies. The station and surrounding district will provide 640,000 square feet of cultural, technology, community, and convening spaces designed to inspire collaboration.

Joshua Sirefman, CEO of Michigan Central, highlighted the broader impact: “Michigan Central will advance mobility solutions that help solve some of society’s biggest challenges. It will also be a powerful catalyst for growth and an economic engine for this region.”

New Tenants and Community Involvement –

Ford’s Michigan Central Station. (Ford).

Ford will be among the first tenants, moving employees from its Ford Model e and Ford Integrated Services teams into the newly renovated office spaces. By the end of the year, approximately 1,000 Ford employees will work within the Michigan Central district, with a goal of 2,500 by 2028.

In addition to Ford, the district aims to attract other visionary companies. The innovation hub will feature spaces for established companies, startups, universities, and community organizations to collaborate. Notably, Newlab at Michigan Central has already established a community of over 600 employees from nearly 100 companies, focusing on advanced mobility, energy equity, and logistics.

Community and Cultural Engagement –

Ford’s Michigan Central Station. (Ford).

The renovation of Michigan Central Station also includes a strong focus on community engagement and cultural programming. The station will house restaurants, music, art, and retail spaces, making it a destination for both locals and visitors. Ford and Michigan Central are committed to creating a space that reflects Detroit’s rich cultural heritage while fostering innovation and growth.

Youth programming will be a key component, with a dedicated floor in the station’s tower providing flexible space for local and national organizations focused on STEAM education and career readiness. One notable initiative is CODE313, a nonprofit dedicated to providing equitable access to technology education for Detroit’s youth.

Historic Restoration and Modern Technology –

The restoration of Michigan Central Station has been a monumental effort. The project preserved as much of the original architecture as possible, with teams using advanced technologies like 3D scanning and printing to recreate intricate details. For example, John Goodrow Sr., a master carver, spent 428 hours hand-carving a replica of a Corinthian column capital from a 21,000-pound block of limestone.

Ford’s commitment to preserving the station’s historic elements while integrating modern technology is evident throughout the renovation. The result is a space that honors the building’s past while positioning it as a hub for future innovation.

Michigan Central OPEN: A Celebration –

Ford’s Michigan Central Station. (Ford).

The Michigan Central OPEN event from June 6-16 will celebrate the station’s reopening with a series of public events. The festivities will kick off with an opening night concert featuring some of Detroit’s biggest stars. From June 7, the station’s restored first floor will be open to the public for a 10-day immersive experience, allowing visitors to explore the landmark’s stunning interiors and learn about its transformation.

As Ford Motor Company and Michigan Central prepare to unveil this historic building, the project stands as a testament to Detroit’s resilience and a beacon of future innovation and opportunity.