Community gets jolt of excitement at Ford's train station plans

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Michigan Central Station is more than 100 years old and has been vacant for decades - but that will soon change.

Ford Motor Company's announcement that it is fixing up and moving into the historic structure is exciting for the city, and the surrounding neighborhood.

"Detroit is open for business for good," said Bill Ford, Jr. 

That message was delivered loudly to the world Tuesday from the old Michigan Central Station - which is now a place of possibility.
 
"It became a symbol of the city's hard times, a monument to its struggles," Ford said. "It's time for that to change."

Calling it the next great anchor for Detroit’s comeback Ford Motor Company Chairman Bill Ford Jr. pumped up a crowd of thousands outside the 105-year-old station in Corktown.
 
"The size of its heart, the strength of its people, the scope of their dreams," Ford said. "That's how you measure a city."

And he had some help from Detroit rapper Big Sean who joined the event's festivities. Ford celebrated the company's purchase of the abandoned building giving those who've only known it as that, hope.

"The history that it holds within my family, it makes me excited to see I can start my own memories here," said Jordan Cooke.

"(My kids) came down here a few years ago, they said it's the scary building," said Ernest Sisson. "And now they look at it now as the building with windows and lights - they're excited about it."

The plans: to renovate in an environmentally friendly way... the grand hall -- a public spot -- and a place for local shops.

"Just this building and everything around it, it is just the beginning," said Denise Cooke.

And the tower a modern workspace, an anchor for the automaker's research and development of self-driving vehicles bringing in about 5,000 jobs.

"It will be wonderful to see this thriving and vibrant with thousands of people working here," Gov. Rick Snyder said. "Working in the neighborhoods. Great Detroiters finding wonderful career opportunities."

Businesses just steps away like employees at Two James Spirits, can't wait.

"Our owner is from the area," said Sarah Goldie, an employee. "And he's excited to see Corktown grow and just bring more people down here."

Property owners like David Larson, who owns several properties in the area and has been investing in Corktown for over 15 years calls the move a game-changer.

"The train station was always the wild card," he said. "I always saw something I guess was always here - great neighbors, a nice little spot."

The renovation of the station, the roughly 1.2 million square foot campus is set to take nearly four years.

Free tours will be held this weekend: 1-6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 2001 15th Street, Detroit. YOU MUST FIRST REGISTER - CLICK HERE.

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