These are exciting times for Ford and Corktown, as Chad Livengood writes at Crain's Detroit Business:
Ford Motor Co. aims to have 2,500 employees in Corktown and wants to renovate the Michigan Central Station by 2022 as part of a campus in Detroit focused on developing self-driving vehicles of the future, company Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. said.
The Ford scion and great-grandson of the company's founder envisions creating a autonomous-vehicle technology hub in Corktown that goes beyond his own company, with up to 2,500 additional workers from suppliers and partner companies working in Ford-owned facilities in Detroit's oldest neighborhood.
"I would love for this to be like the Sand Hill Road of Michigan, where entrepreneurs, startups (and) partners all want to come and be part of this creation process," Ford said, referring to the California road where venture capitalists fueled the meteoric rise of Silicon Valley.
The automaker will describe its visions for the former rail depot and its neighborhood at an 11 a.m. Tuesday media briefing there, followed by a community party in Roosevelt Park on Michigan Avenue nearby.
Ford invites the public for an inside glimpse June 22-24 before contractors start work. Hours for the free "open house" will be disclosed Tuesday, with admission on a first-come basis. Yes, count on long lines.