Ford completes purchase of former brass factory for Corktown campus

Posted on August 24, 2018

Ford Motor Co. has officially assembled a key piece of property it needs for its Corktown campus for autonomous and electric vehicle tech workers.

The Alchemy building at 2051 Rosa Parks Blvd. has sold to an entity called 20th Street Properties LLC, according to a news release from Farmington Hills-based Friedman Real Estate LLC, which represented the seller, an entity called 2051 Rosa Parks LLC, owned by Angel Gambino.

Mike Koenigbauer, the Friedman vice president of brokerage services on the deal for Gambino, declined to reveal the purchase price but said the deal closed last week. An email seeking comment was sent Wednesday morning to Ford Land Development Co., the automaker’s real estate development arm

The Alchemy property totals 3.84 acres and six different addresses: 2200 Rosa Parks, 2067 Rosa Parks, 2091 Rosa Parks, 1947 Dalzelle St., 1923 Dalzelle and 2066 Vermont St. The property is generally bounded by Rosa Parks, Dalzelle, Vermont and Marantette.

Ford plans a $740 million campus anchored by the vacant Michigan Central Station on 15th Street off of Michigan Avenue. The train station will be the focal point of the campus, which is spread across multiple buildings and involves redevelopment and new construction on the site of the 89,000-square-foot Alchemy property. The Ford campus is expected to take about four years to complete. The automaker is asking for about $250 million in local, state and federal tax incentives over 34 years.

Gambino bought the Alchemy property in September 2011 for $270,000, according to Detroit land records.

It is slated to be demolished later this year to make way for a 290,000-square-foot, four-story building, Richard Bardelli, program manager for Ford Land, said last week during a public meeting of the Neighborhood Advisory Committee on the Ford campus project. What will rise at the former brass factory is 247,500 square feet of office/lab space along with 42,250 square feet of commercial space.

The train depot is expected to be turned into about 313,000 square feet of office space, about 42,000 square feet of residential space spread across 40 or so units, 43,000 square feet of commercial space and 60,000 square feet of event space.

The book depository, designed by Albert Kahn, is expected to be transformed into 205,000 square feet of office space and 20,000 square feet of commercial space.

Major construction work on the train station is expected to begin early next year, with a year being spent stabilizing the building and another two years spent restoring it. Major work on the book depository is expected to begin early next year.

The Southfield office of Los Angeles-based brokerage firm CBRE Inc. represented Ford in the deal.

To see Friedman’s Press Release click here.