News & Reviews



Report Sep 11th 2018 at 10:40AM

Ford seeks $238 million in tax incentives for Detroit campus

It includes more than $103,600,000 from the city itself

  • Image Credit: Ford
  • Image Credit: Ford
  • Image Credit: Ford
  • Image Credit: Ford
Ford will pursue $238.6 million in tax incentives, including nearly $103.6 million from the city of Detroit, for its plans to redevelop the long-abandoned Michigan Central Station and establish an autonomous- and electric-vehicle tech campus in the city.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the figures were divulged during a presentation Monday night by the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. Ford has said it plans to spend about $740 million to rehabilitate the blighted former train depot and other properties in the city's rapidly revitalizing Corktown neighborhood, money it would take from a fund already set aside to overhaul its Dearborn campus. The amount of federal, state and local in incentives it's seeking is consistent with what the automaker previously projected.

Ford purchased the massive train station for an undisclosed sum in June and held a big celebration event there to outline its vision of establishing it as an anchor of a campus for mobility innovation. The company is reportedly seeking four different types of tax abatements and must work quickly because a key deadline to submit proposals for one of them is Oct. 31.

The incentives are sure to raise objections in Detroit, which emerged from the nation's largest municipal bankruptcy in 2014. The city's long-struggling public schools remain, by the mayor's own reckoning, one of the biggest impediments to recovery, with continued declining enrollment, a high dropout rate and now a drinking-water crisis, and more than a third of residents live below the poverty line. What's more, Ford's second-quarter earnings report listed $16.8 billion in cash on hand, leading many to ask why incentives are needed.

An analysis by the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. anticipates a net fiscal benefit of $370.1 million to the city over 35 years. That's based on Ford's projections of bringing 2,500 employees and another 2,500 employees from suppliers, startups and other partners, 2,000 construction jobs and the automaker's promised $740 million investment.

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