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Old Posted Nov 5, 2011, 12:35 AM
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Michigan Central Depot Being Renovated

Moroun spending money on Central Depot

November 03. 2011

By Louis Aguilar

Read More: http://detnews.com/article/20111103/...-Central-Depot

The New York City entrepreneur who promises to find new life for the Michigan Central Depot — the city's most famous ruin — says its billionaire owner has spent millions of dollars this year cleaning up Detroit's former train station. Skeptics have said it is a tactic to improve the image of Manuel "Matty" Moroun and his Detroit International Bridge Co., operator of the Ambassador Bridge. The bridge company wants to build a second span between Detroit and Windsor instead of a publicly financed bridge backed by the Snyder administration. And the Michigan Department of Transportation has accused Moroun of not building his portion of the $230 million Gateway project, an effort to connect the Ambassador Bridge directly to I-75 and I-96 via a series of ramps.

- Fueled by Moroun money, workers toiling since early spring have removed tons of debris, broken glass, caulking and asbestos from the derelict building near Michigan Avenue and 14th Street in southwest Detroit. Meanwhile, architects and feasibility experts are on site, evaluating the potential future of the 18-story depot. On Saturday, a group of about 30 individuals including politicians, members of foundations, officials from the Detroit Institute of Arts and local entrepreneurs were invited to tour the train station. On hand was Nora Moroun, wife of Matty, who is playing an active role in finding a way to renovate the depot. "Even at this stage, when it's mainly just empty, it's remarkably beautiful and inspiring," said State Rep. Fred Durhal, D-Detroit, who took the Saturday tour. "I'm convinced the Morouns and the others involved will find a new use for that station. There is no doubt they are serious about it."

- "I think we are talking five years before we … may see a solid (development) plan," said Elisabeth Knibbe, a principal at the Quinn Evans Architects in Ann Arbor who specializes in historical preservation and is involved in the feasibility study. "Structurally, the building is very sound. What's different now from (previous attempts) is the momentum — the group of people behind this effort as well as the outreach to a wide group," she said. Griffin says he's trying to avoid politics and focus on finding a new use for the building. "I saw a picture of the train station about a year and a half ago. I thought it was amazing, and I wrote the Morouns. They wrote me back immediately and that's really how it all began," said Griffin, who is a theater producer and runs the development company Ramscale Inc in New York.


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Old Posted Nov 5, 2011, 12:42 AM
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wonderful to hear some bright news about this place
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Old Posted Nov 5, 2011, 1:19 PM
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Great news, Id hate to see something so beautiful be torn down.
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Old Posted Nov 5, 2011, 2:16 PM
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Read the fine print.

- "I think we are talking five years before we … may see a solid (development) plan,"

Then how many to ACTUALLY redevelop it?

Any updates on the light rail going up Woodward?
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Old Posted Nov 5, 2011, 2:55 PM
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Yes I did read that, but its good to see that someone is at least considering restoring it and the article said theyve already started clean up and removed debris.
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Old Posted Nov 5, 2011, 4:58 PM
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A colleague of mine from grad school is interviewed in that article and has been fairly active trying to generate public awareness and interest in restoring that building. http://talktothestation.com/
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Old Posted Nov 5, 2011, 6:06 PM
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There are a number of possibilities for reuse. The most interesting remains the use it was intended for chiefly a railway station for interurban travel, but also a revamp of public transit involving steetrail or trams and bus hub. This project by a public transit planner in Detroit was initiated to further that purpose. It is very well thought out and I think the future of transit in Detroit resides in a restoration of potent structures such as MCS in order that detroiters reconnect with their past. Detroit has a fabled past in transit, tourism and retail which is largely evacuated. There is a need for historical reeducation as well as novelty in infrastructure so that retail, residential reinvestment and tourism can be revived.

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Old Posted Nov 7, 2011, 7:12 AM
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The building is not being renovated. It's being stabilized and spruced up just enough to possibly make it marketable to investors. That's it; and who knows if it'll even get that far if the owner doesn't get his second span to Canada that he wants? Or at the very least to stop the publically-owned bridge planned.

At the moment, the opinion here in Michigan is that this is PR and it's dependent upon politics and his other business interests. A repaired roof, new windows, and basic clean-up does not a renovation make; this is something he should have been held to account to do years ago; this is basic upkeep.
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Old Posted Nov 7, 2011, 8:16 PM
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Although this building looks larger, it makes me think of the former Orsay railway terminal which was falling into decay after it's been disused in downtown Paris. The elders say it rather was a pitiful sight with broken windows and a dirty facade in the very city center. It could have well been torn down but instead the government had the idea of reusing it for cultural purpose. Today it hosts the world's biggest collection of impressionist paintings, drawing countless visitors. Quite a good deal.
So I guess a museum (dedicated to industrial methods for instance, or anything closely related to the local history) along with art galleries, retail and a library would be fine in there, amongst other possible options of course.
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Old Posted Jun 12, 2018, 2:45 PM
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What's next, now that Ford owns the long-abandoned Michigan Central Station?
6:24 p.m. CDT June 11, 2018

Ford's plans for the old Michigan Central Station, a towering ruin that blighted Detroit's skyline for two decades and came to symbolize the city's dramatic fall, will be announced next week.

The automaker is expected to renovate the long-vacant train depot and make it the hub of a campus for advanced automotive technology in the Corktown neighborhood.

The sale was announced Monday by Matthew Moroun, whose family enterprise has owned the empty station near Michigan Avenue since 1995. He spoke in front of the once-elegant structure, now a mottled gray facade surrounded by razor wire and a chain-link fence.

The Ford sale also included a nearby former Detroit Schools book depository that the family owns. Moroun declined to disclose the total sale price.
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Old Posted Jun 12, 2018, 3:18 PM
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Thank the lord!

For all the talk of struggling auto companies, it's easy to forget just how behemoth they still are. This is part of Ford's play to attract Millennial and, yes, Gen Z workers to Detroit... they are planning to bring up the whole Corktown neighborhood. They will renovate the train station as an anchor for a revitalized neighborhood, probably with Ford's own creative and technology-oriented offices on the upper floors and retail, maybe a food hall, on the ground floor. Corktown is very intact by Detroit standards and already has a critical mass of trendy businesses, but it does also have plenty of room to grow and definitely a handful of sites for large apartment buildings including a proposal for the old Tiger Stadium site.
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Old Posted Jun 13, 2018, 2:02 AM
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Glad to see this being posted in other areas than just the Detroit projects thread. This is as symbolic of our region's revitalization as it was a symbol of our decline.

Yesterday, shortly after it was confirmed the station had been sold to Ford, I was standing outside with many other spectators watching workers cut down the more permanent barbed wire fence that had surrounded the station for years and install a temporary one for construction purposes. People were going in and out of the station and more workers were parking their cars and walking over, all within hours of the confirmation being made public.

And, if I'm thinking right, this is the last abandoned high rise in Detroit that had no plans. The only others I can think of is Executive Plaza, which is vacant but not run down, and the Lee Plaza, which has an RFP out. This may be a premature statement, but the skyscraper graveyard era is over.
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Old Posted Jun 19, 2018, 10:42 PM
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Video Link

Ford’s Detroit plans highlight mobility and connection
The Ford mobility corridor will run from Ann Arbor to Dearborn to Detroit
By Robin Runyan Jun 19, 2018, 2:13pm EDT

Ford’s big press conference announcing its purchase of Michigan Central Station and return to Detroit didn’t offer many specific details about the train station that we didn’t already know. But the company touted big, broad ideas for the region, city, Corktown, and Michigan Central Station.

Ford celebrated its return to Detroit with a huge community celebration with music, art, poetry, and a lot of Detroit pride. The celebration had cameos by local poet Jessica Care Moore, Poet Laureate of the United States Tracy K. Smith, Detroit mayor Mike Duggan, Michigan governor Rick Snyder, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans, Executive Chairman Bill Ford, President and CEO Jim Hackett, and of course, Big Sean.
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