Detroit Regional Chamber > Automotive & Mobility > MichAuto on the Reopening of an Iconic Landmark, Beacon for Future Mobility

MichAuto on the Reopening of an Iconic Landmark, Beacon for Future Mobility

June 6, 2024

Photo credit: Glenn Stevens Jr.

In 1913, Michigan Central Station opened its doors. This was a time when Woodrow Wilson was the President of the United States, the Quebec Bulldogs won the Stanley Cup, and Harvard was the NCAA Football Champion. That very same year, Henry Ford, a man whose name and family is woven throughout the history of Detroit and its automotive industry, created a revolution in manufacturing with his assembly line.

One hundred and eleven years later, this grand building is reopening its doors again. Another man from that family, Bill Ford, had a vision that others did not. He saw that Michigan Central could be a place to represent the continued resurgence of Detroit, of the Motor City, and a center for the same innovation the city is known for. After over six years of massive renovation, the iconic Michigan Central Station has transformed into the centerpiece of a technology campus that will serve as an innovation hub for the future of mobility.

Before and after interior shots of Michigan Central

Photo credit: Stephen McGee/Michigan Central

MichAuto’s 2023 study with Creative Class’s Richard Florida, “Michigan’s Great Inflection – A Strategy for the Age of Technology and Talent,” identified three key pillars that Michigan Central embodies: transformational technology, talent, and placemaking. It is on these tenets on which Detroit and Michigan must focus their economic strategy. The expanded Corktown campus is developing to be a place where transformational innovations in transportation and technology can incubate and grow.

The key resource for the knowledge economy is talent, and in these days of hyper-mobility and global communications, educated, skilled, and talented people have their pick of many desirable places to plant their roots. Michigan Central, Newlab, and the surrounding areas have become a successful magnet for this most sought-after asset – the workforce of the future.

Michigan Central Grand Hotel

Photo credit: Stephen McGee/Michigan Central

Michigan Central sits amid a regional ecosystem and technology corridor between Detroit and Ann Arbor. Within this corridor are many places and communities that have the potential to grow and thrive. They are places that can build and sustain unique neighborhoods and cultural experiences, and offer diverse and inclusive opportunities for founders to succeed and for people from the city, region, and state to chart their future. It will also serve as an international magnet for innovation and experience.

From the factory floor to the connected vehicle to the cloud, our industry needs more high-tech talent. All modern jobs require the workforce to have more digital skills and higher levels of educational attainment. Michigan’s future depends on its ability to provide career paths and opportunities for its people in the digital economy. Michigan Central will be a tremendous catalyst in moving Michigan forward.

Detroit is automotive. Detroit is innovation. Michigan Central is a place that honors that legacy and now stands as a shining beacon for people, technology, and culture. Let the doors swing wide open again.