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Detroit train station, Ford deal likely announced within days

Detroit train station, Ford deal likely announced within days

Detroit train station, Ford deal likely announced within days

The long-awaited confirmation that the Moroun family has sold the historic Michigan Central Station to Ford is expected to come as soon as early next week.

As reported earlier, the Moroun family has already transferred title to the train station to an opaque company registered by a New York law firm that handles Ford legal work.

On Friday, Matthew Moroun, son of family patriarch Manuel (Matty) Moroun, told the Free Press he would soon be able to answer questions about the transfer of the station.

“I hope to be able to reveal news like that to you very shortly,” he said. “I just need to be careful because I promised that I would.”

In late May, the Free Press reported that documents filed with the Wayne County Register of Deeds in May confirm that ownership of the long-vacant train station changed from the Moroun-affiliated MCS Crown Land Development Co. LLC to New Investment Properties I LLC, which lists as its address that of a New York law firm that has represented Ford Motor Credit for more than a decade.

A nearby building, a former school book depository also long held by Moroun, was sold to New Investment Properties II LLC, also linked to the Phillips Lytle law firm.

Ford also is expected to make an announcement soon disclosing its next steps. 

A steady flow of construction professionals worked around the front entrance of the station on Friday afternoon. One had a Walbridge identification label on a black roller bag being taken into the facility.

Workers declined to comment.

A gentleman pulled up outside the fencing at the front to take photos of the building in the sunshine.

“All I know is we got it,” he said, declining to give his name.

The man said he works at a Ford engine plant in Romeo and was happy to hear news that Ford was going to put offices into the old train station.

“It’s a beautiful building,” he said.

The old train station is 10 times better than the Ford Glass House, he said, referring to Ford World Headquarters 7 miles west on Michigan Avenue in Dearborn.

The Michigan Central Station, closed since 1988, became a symbol of Detroit’s decline and a destination for photographers and other voyeurs of urban ruin.

Ford’s expected purchase of the train station as a center for its workers dealing with future mobility would have a profound impact on the Corktown neighborhood in near southwest Detroit.

Ford recently moved some staffers into a former factory on Michigan Avenue near the train station to work on future mobility efforts. Ford has been open about its hopes to build an entire campus in the Corktown district, returning to the city it left a century ago for neighboring locales.

In December, company Chairman Bill Ford said, “Returning to Detroit is particularly meaningful, because it is where my great-grandfather originally set out to pursue his passion and where we have always called our home. We are planting a special piece of our company’s future in one of the city’s great neighborhoods, because we believe in Detroit, its people and what we can build together.”

Contact John Gallagher: 313-222-5173 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @jgallagherfreep. Free Press staff writer Susan Tompor contributed to this report.

Published at Fri, 08 Jun 2018 21:52:01 +0000

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