Ford opens information center near Michigan Central Station

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Ford says it is marking the one-year anniversary of announcing its purchase of the historic Michigan Central Station by opening a new information center in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood.

The new information center is located in The Factory at 1907 Michigan Avenue, which is where Ford has more than 200 autonomous and electric vehicle business and strategy employees located.

The Dearborn-based automaker says this new information center will provide the public access to information regarding the project, construction updates, mobility pilot programs in the area and community initiatives.

“We’ve learned a lot from local residents and businesses over the past year as we further our plans for the development of Michigan Central Station,” Mary Culler, development director in Detroit for Ford, said in a Wednesday, June 19 news release. “Our new information center will provide an ongoing opportunity to share our plans, celebrate the culture of the area and continue learning from the community.

“In this historic neighborhood, we’re building a place where people can solve real-world challenges and create future opportunities together.”

Ford adds that the windows of the information center on Michigan Avenue will transform into a “revolving gallery” featuring work from local artists throughout the year.

The information center will have hours from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Fridays; and from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Starting the week of June 24, Ford says these hours will shift to 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday while keeping the noon to 4 p.m. hours on Saturdays.

In an update last month, Ford hosted a walkthrough of the once-doomed train station in Detroit and said it had removed 227,000 gallons of water from the basement and 3,600 cubic yards of debris. Michigan Central Station was abandoned back in 1988, and sustained damage from what has been described as a repetitive “rain and freeze-thaw effect.” This caused existing cracks in the exterior masonry to expand at a quicker rate over the years.

The automaker plans to spend about $740 million on renovations to buildings that will soon make up its Corktown campus, after purchasing the long-vacant Michigan Central Station for $90 million back in June.

Once the renovations, restoration and constriction is complete, Ford will move about 2,500 employees into the once-doomed train station by 2022. It touts that Michigan Central Station will serve as the future “centerpiece” for its new Detroit-based campus.

As for work already taking place in Detroit and the Corktown neighborhood, the automaker announced the launch of a self-driving fleet with Argo AI recently.

On top of this, Ford says it launched a ride-hailing pilot program — GoRide — back in December and expanded its Spin electric scooters to Corktown. Later this month, the automaker says it will launch the “City: One Challenge” that will aim to crowdsource residents, businesses and community groups for pilot solutions and improving mobility.

“For more than a century, Ford and Detroit have worked together to turn local ideas, inspiration and hard work into programs that improve people’s lives,” Culler added in the release.

“We look forward to our continued partnership with the community and others as we develop Michigan Central Station into a place that inspires innovation and creativity.”

Article and photos courtesy of M Live

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