Bill Ford Jr. on train station: Where the future is going to be created

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A bright future for an iconic building in Detroit.

It will become an innovation hub for the Ford Motor Company where they plan to put autonomous vehicle technology in overdrive. The old Michigan Central Station will be able to hold 5,000 people in it and as Chairman Bill Ford Jr. says, it is not just about business - this move is personal.

FOX 2: "It feels like there is a kid inside of you that is giddy and can't wait to come to work here."

"There is a kid inside me and I can't wait to be here," Bill Ford Jr. said. "Not just because this is a really awesome building, which it is. But also because this is where the future is going to be created - and that really interests me."

A future riding on autonomous vehicles. A relic of ruin today, the doors open to a new chapter as this is the building where mobility’s future will take the front seat. 

Bill Ford Jr.’s ride past the old Michigan Central station peppered with thoughts that you and I have had since it closed in 1988.

"As somebody who loves this city and always really drove me crazy when I would see this decrepit building," he said. "And also saw it photographed around the world as a symbol of what was wrong with Detroit and I hated that."

FOX 2 "What will be written about this place in 10 years?

"Who knows what will be a written," he said. "But what I hope people will think about this place in 10 years is that it’s a really great meeting place for everybody in this region. 

"It’s a place where you will meet your family and friends for dinner, you might meet someone here for a cup of coffee and then go and watch a ballgame in Detroit. I really hope this becomes a congregating place and a jumping off place to do other things in the city."

Neighbors in Corktown who have seen this building for generations were watching the kickoff carefully. 

FOX 2: "If any of them are weary about a big corporation coming into their neighborhood and perhaps taking away from the charm, you tell them what?"

"If they are worried about that, we will take great pains to involve the community in this building," Ford said. "We’re going to ask them what would they like to see here? What don’t you want to see here? And help us create the space in a way that works for the community and that’s what we’re going to do."

FOX 2: "What was it like having your mom in the audience today?"

"It was great," Ford said. "She ran she remembers taking this train a lot. She used to take it to New York all the time. It was a great moment for her. My mom loves the community, she is 92 years old and I hope I am that tuned in when I am 92. 

"She is loving every minute of this."

It is not just the building that is 600,000 square feet, it is 1.2 million square feet that Ford will take up in Corktown. It will take four years to build.

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.