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Ford bought abandoned Detroit train station for $90 million

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City records

obtained by Crain’s Detroit Business

show that


paid $90 million to acquire Michigan Central Station, the long-abandoned and heavily blighted train station where it plans to headquarter its urban campus to work on





The figure had not previously been divulged and puts the purchase price at $150 per square foot for the 600,000-square-foot building, which has been abandoned since 1988. That’s a huge premium for Detroit real estate, where downtown office


rates have reportedly been

edging up

toward $25 per square foot. One real estate broker told the publication the price reflects a buyer that intends to use the property itself, rather than flip it for a profit. A local real-estate financier had a more succinct verdict in an email to Crain’s: “DAMN!!!!!”


purchased the train depot from the Moroun family, owners of a local trucking firm and the nearby Ambassador Bridge, which connects Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, on May 22.

Ford held a celebration at the train station in June to

outline its vision for the building

and opened the former depot to the public for a series of viewings, offering many people their first opportunity to see the hulking Beaux Arts building in decades. Ford’s plans call for space for its electric- and autonomous-vehicle business teams, startups and suppliers, residential units on the top two floors, and commercial space on a first floor that will be open to the public. It envisions housing 2,500 Ford software engineers and tech employees and another 2,500 from suppliers and other partners when the building opens in 2022.

The automaker says it plans to spend $


million on rehabbing Michigan Central Station and other nearby properties in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood. It’s

seeking nearly $239 million

in various tax incentives.

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