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Ford plans construction on Michigan Central Depot by year's end

Exterior of the Michigan Central Station in Detroit. While Ford Motor Company prepares to move some of its operations ...more
Exterior of the Michigan Central Station in Detroit. While Ford Motor Company prepares to move some of its operations to the Michigan Central Station in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood, the Ford Fund commisioned Rebel Nell, a social entrepreneur, to repurpose layers of graffiti paint from the wallls inside the massive structure and turn them into one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry. Photos taken on Tuesday, September 11, 2018.
JOHN T. GREILICK,
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Ford Motor Co. expects to start construction on its Michigan Central Station renovation before the end of 2018, the automaker said Thursday.

The automaker will work with design firm Quinn Evans Architects and architects at Christman-Brinker on the project expected to be completed some time in 2022. 

Ford in June confirmed it purchased and had plans to restore the blighted train station. It bought the building for $90 million, and after the restoration is complete, the automaker plans to move its electric vehicle and autonomous vehicle teams to the facility. 

Around 2,500 Ford employees will work out of the building. Another 2,500 entrepreneurs, technology companies and partners related to Ford's expansion into Autos 2.0. will also be housed there. The station will be the "centerpiece" of Ford's planned 1.2-million-square-foot Corktown campus.

Both firms Ford hired have offices in Detroit in addition to other cities around the country. Quinn Evans has a history of work on historic preservation and landmark preservation projects, including the Michigan State Capitol restoration. Christman-Brinker is a newly-formed joint venture between two Detroit companies. Together, the companies have worked on the new Little Caesars World Headquarters, the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University and multiple schools around Detroit.

"Quinn Evans Architects and Christman Brinker have a strong track record of working together on restoring historic buildings, so we felt they were the right partners to help us begin this transformation project," Todd Brooks, program manager at Ford Land, the company’s real estate arm overseeing Ford’s Corktown campus, said in a statement. "They share Ford’s passion for redeveloping Detroit’s landmark train station, ensuring the local community benefits from our presence and building the future of the transportation industry right here in Detroit."

The automaker has spent most of the last several months sealing the blighted building from the elements.

Ford estimates construction and restoration efforts will cost $740 million and will require 2.5 million man-hours, 51 percent of which must be done by Detroit residents. The automaker has committed $5 million for workforce training, education and development to help address a shortage of skilled trade workers in Detroit.

ithibodeau@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Ian_Thibodeau

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