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Detroit's Corktown excited for Michigan Central reopening on June 6

Detroit's Corktown excited for Michigan Central reopening on June 6
Detroit's Corktown excited for Michigan Central reopening on June 6 01:55

(CBS DETROIT) – Michigan Central is coming back to life on June 6.

Trains won't be running through it; instead, it'll be an innovation hub for Ford, which made the date official early Tuesday morning. 

The old train depot remains an active work site, but crews are now in the home stretch of five years of renovations.

Ford promises it will be a must-see destination, and it's starting to live up to that. 

Andres Gutierrez/CBS Detroit

In the hours since the automaker's announcement, folks have been flocking to the historic site to see some of the work already done.

"I can't wait. I think the work you're hearing going on inside to improve it's just spectacular," said Mike Flanagan, who was visiting Corktown with his wife. "So we came down purposely to kind of see this, and then we're going to have a bite to eat down here."

That's what neighboring businesses like the Mercury Burger Bar want to hear.

"We were all relieved. It was exciting to watch a piece of history come back for sure," said Jennifer Clotworthy, manager at Mercury Burger Bar.

They've had a front-row seat to the transformation of the 500,000-square-foot space that'll be Ford's new hub for self-driving cars and EV research.

The company's presence is set to bring 5,000 new workers to the area. 

"You've got a whole new lot of friends and, hopefully, be able to get some more people down here and check out what we're doing in Corktown and help all of the small businesses down here," Clotworthy said. 

Sheila Cockrel, a Corktown resident and chair of the Michigan Central Neighborhood Advisory Council, commends Ford as a good neighbor and wants to ensure they keep communicating once their innovation hub is up and running. 

"So that when an innovation is tried, people who live in the neighborhood, know about it in advance, have a way to raise issues, I mean, if somebody's got a drone that suddenly doesn't work and drops in somebody's car, who do you call?" Cockrel said. 

While we know the opening date, Ford hasn't released additional details about the grand reopening or how they deal with the crowds during those first few weeks.

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