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Ford news: $90M price tag for train depot, community benefits, haunted house?

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Open to the public again in October

Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

On Monday night, Ford responded to last week’s community benefits requests from the Corktown Neighborhood Advisory Council (NAC). Ford will offer $10 million in neighborhood initiatives, which was approved by the NAC and will now go to City Council for approval. When approved, this will become a binding agreement between Ford and the city.

According to the Free Press, Ford will offer up:

  • “$5 million for education and workforce training,
  • $2.5 million for the city’s Affordable Housing Leveraging Fund, and
  • $2.5 million for the city’s Strategic Neighborhood Core City Fund.”

The city responded that this would turn into a $20 million investment by leveraging other resources.

This money would go toward 200 affordable housing units in the impact area; beautifying projects like park improvements, home repair loans, and streetscape improvements; and workforce training and education programs.

The impact zone borders the Lodge to the east, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to the north, I-75 to the west, and Lafayette Street to the south. Basically, it covers Corktown, North Corktown, and Hubbard-Richard.

Ford also said they would engage the community in its mobility programs, ensure that childcare programs would be open to the public, and communicate about construction and environmental impact.

It was revealed by Crain’s yesterday that public records state Ford paid $90 million (!!) for the train station, or about $150 per square foot. Previously, Ford hadn’t stated how much the purchase price was for the long-vacant building. Ford is expecting the total redevelopment cost to come in at $740 million, and the company is asking for $250 million in tax incentives.

The train station is the centerpiece in a bigger Corktown redevelopment, which will bring 5,000 Ford and partner employees into the city. The redevelopment is expected to take about four years.

Ford also said last night that they would put on a one-day haunted house in October at the train station. The date is to be determined, but residents in the impact zone would get first priority. The haunted house would only be on the main floor, and really just sounds like another opportunity for people to get into the train station legally.