By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — The retransformation continues in downtown west Dearborn with Ford Motor Co’s. investment to develop office and retail space at the former Wagner Hotel.
The $60 million Wagner Place project will impact two blocks filled with vacant buildings creating a “unique urban development featuring outdoor green space, first-floor retail stores and top-level offices for up to 600 Ford employees,” according to a Ford Land press release.
The former Kiernan’s Steakhouse was demolished this month, but the former Wagner Hotel, at Michigan Avenue and Monore, will remain intact.
Under their $60 million plan, the building “will maintain its historic facade and be renovated into retail and office space as part of the planned development,” the press release read.
“Wagner Place will be beneficial both to the community as well as Ford employees,” Ford Land CEO and chairwoman Donna Inch said. “It is part of the company’s overall Dearborn campus transformation plan as Ford expands to be an auto and mobility company and recruits a new generation of talented workers.”
Work on Wagner Place is scheduled for completion by mid-2018. Aiding in the project, the city of Dearborn plans to build a new public parking structure. The Michigan Strategic Fund announced it will give the city a $3 million performance-based grant to construct the 373-space parking structure.
“Dearborn will invest $8 million through bond financing to build the parking deck, in addition to the $3 million awarded from the state,” a Michigan Strategic Fund press release read. “The city will also bond for $7 million in utility improvements and streets scaping in connection with the project.”
Planned designs for the new buildings will allow for wider sidewalks and additional features to make the area more pedestrian-friendly because they will be built further from the street.
“We’re grateful for the state’s partnership in this critical development, and for Ford’s ongoing commitment to the city of Dearborn, even beyond its traditional campuses,” Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. said in a press release. “This transformative project has all the key components we’ve been pursuing as Dearborn looks to the future. It respects our heritage while moving our community forward in energizing ways.”
This Wagner Place project and downtown west Dearborn development are all part of Ford’s $1.2 billion campus transformation plan.
A research and engineering center, a second campus near its current headquarters, and a product campus are scheduled to be completed by 2026.
Upon its completion, Ford will move 30,000 employees currently in 70 buildings to the new campus locations.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])