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Ford employees move their offices into the Fairlane Mall

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Courtesy of Ford Motor Company

When considering adaptive reuse spaces, Ford has come up with a way to creatively utilize a vacant space in a busy mall. For the next ten years, 1,800 Ford employees are working from 240,000 square feet of converted unused mall space, formerly occupied by as many as 26 retailers, including Lord & Taylor.

A year ago, we told you about Ford’s ten year plan to redevelop its Dearborn campus. The transformation will colocate 30,000 employees from 70 buildings into primarily two campus locations. In the meantime, larger groups of employees needed a place to work.

Welcome to the Fairlane Town Center Mall!

Courtesy of Ford Motor Company

According to Ford, the new offices focus on collaboration, wellness, and sustainability. This includes:

  • Lounge space, wellness rooms, cafés, reflection rooms, and lactation rooms for nursing mothers.
  • Walk-up stations with treadmill desks
  • Ergonomically designed workstations with adjustable-height desks for a custom fit, along with the ability for employees to change posture throughout the day.
  • Materials to foster employee wellness and sustainability, including an accent wall in the lobby made from reclaimed wood, zero volatile organic compound paint, and carpet made from recycled content.
Courtesy of Ford Motor Company
Courtesy of Ford Motor Company
Courtesy of Ford Motor Company

According to Ford, Rita Nelson, Fairlane Town Center general manager, says that in addition to retail, dining, entertainment, and mixed-use opportunities, malls offer campus and office space solutions for nontraditional tenants.

“Retail has shifted so much over the years and Fairlane is no different,” said Nelson. “We have more than 125 stores and restaurants but like much of the industry, we have expanded to include other opportunities.”

As shopping malls struggle to stay open, could we see more uses like this in the future?