Michigan Central Innovation District Development


Michigan Central is building a world-leading community, focused on building solutions and skills at the intersection of mobility & society.

It is an inclusive, vibrant and walkable 30 acres anchored by the iconic Michigan Central Station, with hands-on, tech-enabled innovation labs and workspaces, testing infrastructure, restaurants, retail, event and exhibition space, public art, indoor/outdoor collaborative space, and open plazas.

It will connect with the surrounding neighborhoods and the city through improved gateways and preserve the history of the area with a mix of old and new.

Michigan Central Station Current State

The Station

Michigan Central Station was once the gateway to the Motor City and was considered to be one of the grandest railway stops in the United States. It was last used by Amtrak in 1988 and has been vacant until its recent acquisition by Ford Motor Company in 2018. No other building better symbolizes the past, present and future of Detroit, from the city’s grit and resurgence to its role in the history and future of mobility.

Soon, The Station will be an iconic, mixed-use hub for Michigan Central, Detroit, and the world. The grand waiting room, arcade and concourse will be welcoming public spaces for all to enjoy while the tower will be transformed into modern offices. Features include community and event spaces, public art, ongoing programming, activations, restaurants and retailers.

It will begin to open mid-2023 with initial occupancy and activation as part of a phased approach.

Before and After Michigan Central

Newlab at Michigan Central Building

Designed by Albert Kahn and opened in 1936 as a post office and mail-sorting facility, the building became the Detroit Public Schools’ Book Depository in the early 1960s. After a devastating fire ripped through the building in 1987, this architectural gem was abandoned and stood empty for more than three decades. In 2018, it was bought by Ford Motor Co. to become a key piece in the Michigan Central vision.

Today, this building is Michigan Central’s engine of innovation and home to an open platform concept where everyone from startups to Fortune 500 companies come together to work on solving the world’s mobility challenges and discovering new technology.

Bagley Mobility Hub

Located at the corner of Bagley and 14th Street, the 6-story structure called Bagley Mobility Hub provides parking and amenities to support workers of Michigan Central as well as serve the community. This state-of-the-art, tech-enabled, 24-7 secure mobility center offers mobility solutions including 1,252 parking spaces for workers and public, e-bike and e-scooter stations, electric charging, and an autonomous vehicle testing area. In addition, the facility is designed as a community-facing resource with streetscape enhancements, public art, ground floor retail and new public amenities, including restrooms, free Wi-Fi, two outdoor plazas and shaded seating areas.

Bagley Mobility Hub serves as a gateway and shared resource for users of Southwest Greenway, which is being constructed by Detroit Riverfront Conservancy to link the new west riverfront Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park to The Station.

The Factory

The Factory was the first building to open at Michigan Central.

Once home to the Chicago Hosiery and Detroit-Alaska Knitting Mills factories, it is now the base for more than 250 members of Ford’s autonomous vehicle business and operations team.

In addition, space in The Factory will serve as the temporary facility for the first classes of Google’s Code Next program at Michigan Central – Google’s first in the Midwest – which begins Fall 2022.

Retail & Hospitality

The new development will be home to 1.2 million square feet of commercial space, including retail, restaurants, and hospitality. It will be a showcase that supports local arts and culture, a vibrant part of the fabric of the neighborhood, and a must-see destination that welcomes visitors from Detroit, the region, and around the world to experience the cutting-edge in both technology and culture.

Hospitality Retail Rendering