Done deal: Ford purchases Michigan Central Station in Detroit
Ford buys train station from Moroun family
DETROIT – After months of speculation, Ford has purchased Michigan Central Station in Detroit.
Now, what was once an icon of Detroit's decline will be transformed. The only question is what it will become.
A century ago, Michigan Central Station was the hopping place in Detroit. Over time, it diminished, and the Moroun family bought it in 1992. It's been in decline ever since.
The Morouns said they always wanted to develop it, but on Monday, Detroit's turnaround went into overdrive when Matthew Moroun delivered an "I told you so" moment.
"The depot will become a shining symbol of Detroit's success and progress," Moroun said. "The Ford Motor Company's blue oval will adorn the building."
The announcement comes after the Detroit City Council ordered the building to be demolished in 2009. Moroun and his father wanted to rebuild the station, but instead green-lighted a giant development Ford plans for the depot and the book depository next door.
"I think the city was looking for the moonshot with Amazon, but I think we found what's really fitting for our site," Moroun said.
There haven't been many good looks at the inside of the building. Actor Shia LaBeouf made it famous a decade ago in the first Transformers movie.
Ford's Said Deep said its pending transformation is top-secret.
"For all of us who have grown up here, this is an exciting day for the city and an exciting day for Ford," Deep said. "Together with the community here, we'll announce our plans for Michigan Central Station and Corktown on June 19."
Richard Gonzalez and Alvia Flores live in the neighborhood next to Michigan Central Station. Gonzalez said he played hooky from work Monday to hear the historic announcement.
"It's going to make it more beautiful than it already is," Gonzalez said. "This is what we needed for the city of Detroit to come back together like when we were kids."
The amount Ford paid for the station hasn't been announced.
Within seconds of the Morouns leaving the property, Ford had workers in to start work.
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