Ford leases Masco headquarters in Taylor – The Detroit News
Taylor — Ford Motor Co. will lease the Masco headquarters on Van Born and the vacant Kmart store next door, officials announced Wednesday.
The automaker plans to relocate 1,000 employees to the massive 415,000-square-foot Masco property in Taylor. Masco — a manufacturer of home improvement products — is in the process of moving to a downsized headquarters in Livonia. Masco will be out of the Taylor office by June, and Ford will begin moving in shortly after. The four-story Taylor building has an indoor courtyard, café and fitness center.
Ford said the former Kmart, which closed in 2016 as part of a nationwide shutdown of stores, will be used for office space needed as Ford continues with a 10-year transformation to create two main campuses in Dearborn and give the automaker a facelift to attract new, young talent. The lease on the Taylor properties, both owned by Masco, is for 10 years.
Masco was one of Taylor’s biggest taxpayers. Taylor Mayor Rick Sollars said he is excited about Ford coming to the city.
“Naturally, you want to land on your feet in these types of situations,” Sollars said in a statement. “This is a win-win-win — in fact, anytime you land Ford, it’s a big win. But Masco, the city and, of course, Ford all are winners in this situation.”
The move marks the first time Ford will have real estate in the city, Sollars said.
The former Kmart on Van Born in Taylor is a shell: It is stripped of signage, and its parking lot is cracked and worn. A Ford spokeswoman said the company has no immediate plans for the building, but leased the space for any growth the company might see over the next 10 years while its main campuses are under renovation.
Ford’s plan for its Dearborn campuses calls for demolitions, renovations and new construction to create a walkable, centralized headquarters. About 30,000 workers from 70 buildings will be consolidated onto two central campuses — one behind Ford World Headquarters on Michigan Avenue, the other at Ford’s product development center near The Henry Ford. The automaker has not disclosed the overall cost, but estimates have put it at a billion dollars and beyond.
The company earlier this year moved about 2,000 employees into a renovated wing of Fairlane Town Center mall in Dearborn. The Masco headquarters and the adjacent Kmart property will give Ford more space to move employees who will be displaced as the company renovates or tears down buildings on those two campuses.
“As our campus transformation continues, we need transitional work space in close proximity to our campus,” Ford Land CEO and Chairman Dave Dubensky said in a statement. “Masco’s headquarters building offers the needed space and amenities for our employees, and it’s in close proximity to our Dearborn campus.”
Ford’s move to Taylor is expected to boost the city’s economy, with company employees patronizing local stores and restaurants, and possibly lead to upgrades on the Van Born corridor.
The city says there’s been minimal development on Van Born in recent years.
“We’ve been speaking with Dearborn Heights, and they may be as excited as anyone about this,” Sollars said. “Van Born needs improvements. It has for a while. We could be looking at some type of phased-in improvements over a three-year period.”
Ford’s employee shuttle service will now include the Taylor location, which is less than five miles from the Dearborn campus.
Staff writer Ian Thibodeau contributed.