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In recent years, there has been significant growth and excitement around the revitalization of the City of Detroit, with the support of the State of Michigan, investors, volunteers, and Fortune 500 companies. While the news likes to report all the crime in major cities, they neglect to point out how much Detroit has changed since the 80’s.

Although, it did not matter what the news said for my family as we have always enjoyed downtown for all its culture, food, entertainment, and sporting events. For example, each year, as a family tradition, during the Christmas holiday season, we would go to the Detroit Opera House and see The Nutcracker Ballet (Tchaikovsky 1892). Some other venues we enjoyed in downtown Detroit:

  • Tiger Stadium (former home of the Detroit Tiger’s baseball team) now Comerica Park
  • Joe Louis Arena (former home of The Detroit Red Wings hockey team)
  • Cobo Hall (home of the International Auto Show)
  • Hart Plaza (free concerts were played here each weekend in the summer)
  • Greektown off of Beaubien Street (some of the original restaurants were closed as the casinos came in)
  • DIA (Detroit Institute of Arts)
  • Amore da Roma (one of Detroit’s oldest Italian restaurants)
  • Boat races on Lake St Claire, viewed from Jefferson Ave.
  • Bob-lo Island (we would get on the Bob-lo boat that took us to the theme park on the island)
  • Belle Isle (now part of Michigan’s State Parks, run by the Department of Natural Resources “DNR”)
  • Greenfield Village (actually in Dearborn, close to Detroit)
  • Henry Ford Museum (also in Dearborn, close to Detroit)

So, the question is, is Ford Making a commercial move of corporate headquarters in Michigan? Kind of, but not really. They are expanding their already existing property into something really fabulous. Per Ford Motor Co’s official website, they stated that over the next few years, they will transform, modernize, and consolidate its sprawling 7.5-million-square-foot engineering and headquarters facilities into a high-tech Silicon Valley-style property that will span across two campuses. The renovated campus will bring over 30,000 employees–who now work in 70 disparate buildings–together into two locations.

Furthermore, they are also involved in a historical change happening right now in the City. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation explains how Ford has focused funding in the downtown Detroit area with the creation of the Michigan Central Innovation District. “The company bought the historic Michigan Central Train Station in 2018 to act as an anchor for the 30-acre campus to act as a hub for talent, mobility innovation, entrepreneurship, sustainability, affordable housing, small business opportunities and community engagement,”.

They go on to share this quote, “The Detroit area is becoming a center of competence for user experience technology and many of the suppliers that exist in Silicon Valley now have representation in Michigan,” Vince Gallante, Stellantis vice president of global user experience design. “We’re supporting all 14 of Stellantis’ brands with hires from Apple, Disney and Microsoft,”.

Corporate headquarters relocation

It’s actually a fantastic idea for Ford. Expanding versus developing a brand new property and moving absolutely everything is probably a good move (haha, no pun intended!) for their bottom line. Still, they’ll have to move some offices and departments that are moving into the newer facilities, and that is no easy task.

Whether the company is moving  its headquarters down the block or across the globe, corporate relocation is a complex undertaking that needs especially careful planning and execution.

Headquarters relocations oftentimes are the most challenging decisions companies have to make, not because of technical reasons but because of the impact it has on such a large numbers of employees and executives.

However, on a positive note, headquarters relocation is an exceptional instance in which to review and improve the organizational structure, business processes, and workflows. Implementing this process streamlines costs and efficiency. Additionally, moving to a new location may present unique savings opportunities such as:

  • Lower property costs
  • Tax cuts
  • Reduced operating costs

You never know until you look into it and try!

The decision Ford has made to revamp their existing property into a cutting-edge Silicon Valley-style campus is a strategic one. By consolidating its facilities and bringing thousands of employees together in two central locations, Ford is not only optimizing its operations but also fostering a sense of unity and collaboration among teams.

The acquisition of the historic Michigan Central Train Station as the focal point of the innovation district is symbolic of Ford’s commitment to preserving Detroit’s rich heritage while embracing future technologies and trends. This landmark building, once a symbol of the City’s past glory, is now poised to become a beacon of modernity and progress, attracting top talent and fostering creativity and sustainability.

Furthermore, the influx of talent from renowned companies like Google, Apple, Disney, and Microsoft speaks volumes about the City’s appeal as a vibrant and dynamic tech ecosystem. This convergence of talent and resources bodes well for Detroit’s future as a key player in the global innovation landscape.

Corporate headquarters relocation list USA

Since it has been established that moving a corporate headquarters is no easy feat, we looked around to see what would be on that to-do list. Here’s a small checklist to consider:

  • Organize business operations
  • New office design
  • Get technology in order
  • Communication with employees
  • Close out old office space
  • Prepare for the new office
  • Help your team settle in
  • Identify and inventory the old space
  • Cancel services like utilities, electricity, internet, etc.
  • Remove company signage and branding
  • Hire and schedule cleaning services
  • Hand over building keys, passwords, etc.

As Ford navigates the intricate process of headquarters relocation, they are not just moving offices and departments but reimagining their entire organizational structure and business processes. This transition presents an opportunity for refinement and enhancement, paving the way for improved efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The potential savings in terms of property values, taxes, and operational expenses could further bolster Ford’s competitive edge and financial stability in the long run.

Is Ford making a commercial move of corporate headquarters?

In conclusion, Ford’s commercial move of their corporate headquarters is not just a physical relocation but a strategic pivot towards a more integrated, innovative, and sustainable future. Detroit’s resurgence as a center of excellence in technology and mobility is being catalyzed by initiatives like the Michigan Central Innovation District, setting the stage for a new era of growth and prosperity in the Motor City. With Ford at the helm of this transformative journey, the possibilities for Detroit are genuinely limitless.

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