This article was originally published at the Crain’s Detroit website by Kirk Pinho and can be found by clicking here.
Ford Motor Co. is purchasing nearly two blocks of prime property in west downtown Dearborn, including a historic former hotel and a pair of well-known restaurant sites.
Ford Land Development Corp. Chairman and CEO Donna Inch confirmed Friday the planned purchase of property on the south side of Michigan Avenue between Mason Street to the west and Oakwood Boulevard to the east.
She declined to provide specifics on plans for the properties, but redevelopment is expected with office and retail space.
“Ford Land is exploring options to acquire and develop office and retail space in downtown Dearborn to support its campus transformation plan,” Dawn Booker, communications manager for Ford Land Development Corp., the real estate division of the Dearborn-based automaker, said in a statement.
“Ford Land will continue to work with the city of Dearborn and share more detail when finalized.”
That could be in a couple weeks, Inch said.
The properties — which include the former La Shish and Talal’s restaurants at 22039 and 22041 Michigan Ave. — have a mix of public and private ownership.
For example, the Dearborn City Council on Tuesday passed a resolution authorizing the sale of those two buildings totaling about 10,000 square feet to Ford Land, which is in the beginning stages of an ambitious 10-year plan to transform its headquarters campus and research and engineering center through new construction and demolition to the tune of at least $1 billion.
The city resolution called for a purchase price of $200,000.
Another one of the properties, the historic 120-year-old former Wagner Hotel at the corner of Michigan and Monroe, is part of the redevelopment. Last year, a technical assistance panel of the Urban Land Institute Michigan drafted a 40-plus-page report that called for the development of 26,000 square feet of new retail space along with 71 units of residential housing ranging from 440 to 900 square feet, renting for $1.57 per square foot in the area.
Last year, a technical assistance panel of the Urban Land Institute Michigan drafted a 40-plus-page proposal on the historic 120-year-old former Wagner Hotel at the corner of Michigan and Monroe. The report called for the development of 26,000 square feet of new retail space along with 71 units of residential housing ranging from 440 to 900 square feet renting for $1.57 per month in the area.
According to data from CoStar Group Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based real estate information service, the two blocks bounded by Michigan to the north, Oakwood to the east, Mason to the west and West Village Drive to the south contain about 20 buildings totaling nearly 130,000 square feet. Some of the properties in that area are expected to retain the same ownership.
West downtown runs on both sides of Michigan between Outer Drive to the west and east of Brady Street. East downtown generally surrounds the intersection of Michigan Avenue between west of Schlaff and Oakman Boulevard and Schaefer between Ruby and Bryan streets.
Both of the city’s downtown development authorities were established by ordinance in 1977.
The automaker has also signed a lease for about 220,000 square feet in the former Lord & Taylor department store in Fairlane Town Center as well as a connected wing of the mall. The store is about 120,000 square feet and the connected wing is about 100,000.