Ford recently released renovation plans for the Dearborn site to create a new Product and Development Center by 2025.
The ambitious project is underway as five buildings have already been demolished. 2.2 million sq. feet will be added onto the campus with the demolition of the Research and Engineering building. The current Product and Development building will also be demolished, starting 2023.
These renovations are part of a master plan Ford released in 2016. This plan also includes the purchase and renovation of the Michigan Central Station as a mobility hub. The plan will be enacted in two phases, the first of which will be completed in 2022, with capacity expected for 2,000 employees.
Phase two will be completed in 2025, intended for 6,000 employees, specifically designers and other vehicle development employees. President and CEO Jim Hackett says, this increase in size “will help Ford speed product and technology innovation and attract world-class talent.”
More improvements for the campus include shared pathways and other retail space. Plans for a more flexible workspace and transportation such as e-bikes, scooters and shuttles and, eventually, autonomous vehicles and other forms of mobility are also in place.
Ford also claims that there will be a “shared transportation loop” that “limits personal vehicle access to the perimeter of the site.” Additionally, the new center is expected to bring 5,000 autonomous and electric vehicle technology workers to the area.
These exciting benefits come with a steep price. Ford declined to share a total cost of the project, but estimates range from $550 to $660 million. The company also received $239 million in local, state and federal incentives.
Dearborn will continue to look its Ford headquarters during this thrilling time of change and innovation. Perhaps students at the University of Michigan-Dearborn could be among the first of newly-hired employees.
Pinho, Kirk. “Ford Outlines Major Overhaul of Dearborn Campus by 2025.” Crain’s Detroit Business, 17 Sept. 2019, www.crainsdetroit.com/real-estate/ford-outlines-major-overhaul-dearborn-campus-2025.