Ford plans move for 600 employees to new office development

on May5

The site, known as Wagner Place, transforms a historic hotel and other vacant buildings near Ford headquarters.

Ford Motor Co. plans to move about 600 data insights and analytics employees next year to a new, $60 million project in west downtown Dearborn, Mich., that is part of the automaker’s decade-long campus transformation.

Ford said it would move the jobs by the middle of 2018 through relocation or consolidation. The site, known as Wagner Place, transforms a historic hotel and other vacant buildings.

Ford is renovating its Dearborn campus as it expands to offer new technology and mobility services. The automaker has said the upgrades are meant to help better compete with Silicon Valley tech startups in attracting talent.

In December, the city secured a $3 million performance-based grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund to construct a 373-space parking deck on what is a surface parking lot at West Village Drive and Monroe.

The project is expected to bring a pair of three-story mixed-use buildings to downtown Dearborn and restore the Wagner Hotel into retail and office space. One-third of the 150,000-square-foot development is expected to be retail space.

“Developing an urban office environment positions Ford to offer a work setting that will appeal to a new generation of employees,” Dave Dubensky, CEO of Ford Land, said in a statement. “Wagner Place supports our goals to create a more collaborative and inviting campus atmosphere for all employees.”

The project area is between Mason Street to the west, Oakwood Boulevard to the east and south of Michigan Avenue. Some of the structures in the area are slated for demolition as part of the project, according to a December MSF memo.

“This is absolutely a transformational project that will change the future of downtown west Dearborn in the sense that we are bringing in over 600 employees who will be able to patronize our businesses, and activate the climate and environment there,” said Cristina Sheppard-Decius, executive director of the West Dearborn Downtown Development Authority.

Detroit-based Neumann/Smith Architecture is the architecture firm on the project while Mid-America Real Estate Corp., which has an office in Bloomfield Hills, will be responsible for leasing the retail space to tenants. Sterling Heights-based Roncelli Inc. is the general contractor.

A year ago, Ford Land confirmed that it planned to purchase the property for the project.

The project is the latest large-scale real estate move for the automaker.

It is spending about $1 billion in the next 10 years to overhaul its headquarters campus and research and engineering hub in Dearborn, and has leased about 240,000 square feet at Fairlane Town Center in the former Lord & Taylor space and an adjacent mall wing.

For a photo gallery and more coverage from Crain’s Detroit Business, click here.

Michael Martinez contributed to this report.



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