Ford sent shockwaves through the city when it announced it would be purchasing the iconic Michigan Central Station in Detroit's corktown neighborhood. The long vacant building became a symbol of Detroit's urban decay. However as Corktown became an increasingly popular neighborhood in recent years, it became inevitable that the building would eventually be sold to a developer. Only a buyer with seriously deep pockets could bring new life to the crumbling building. That's when Ford stepped in and announced its ambitious plans to build a state of the art 1.2 million square ft campus on the historic site.
The company announced that all 2,000 workers hired to complete the project would be unionized. Ford estimates that it will take 2.5 million man hours, 51% of these hours must be completed by city of Detroit residents. The "Blue Oval" is requesting over $100 Mil in tax incentives, but must meet strict hiring requirements. 50% of the contractors must be based in Wayne County, 30% specifically in the City of Detroit. Fordland, the real estate arm of the company, has expressed concern about meeting the 51% threshold citing a shortage of skilled laborers in the city. In response, the company will offer training programs city wide. These jobs are great for the city, where the unemployment rate continues to fall from its peak in late 2009.