The design is expected to include features such as shared pathways, coffee shops and other retail space, although the scale of those aspects has not yet been determined, said Christina Twelftree, a Ford spokeswoman.
Hackett and other Ford executives, including Ford Land Development CEO David Dubensky, declined to reveal the development cost for the new space. However, new construction generally costs about $250 to $300 per square foot, so at 2.2 million square feet, the new building could cost $550 million to $660 million.
That’s in line with earlier estimates that Ford planned to spend north of $1 billion between Corktown and Dearborn on new space for autonomous and electric vehicle development in Detroit and revamping its campus in the suburbs.
Five buildings on the Dearborn campus have been demolished. Ford employees in the new space will be surrounded by natural elements, Dubensky said.
“In virtually every workspace is a connection to nature. Three-quarters of the campus will be dedicated to nature. We are taking down the buildings that exist along Rotunda and replacing them with walking paths, trees, etc.”
Ford also said it will have more flexible workspace and include transportation such as e-bikes, scooters and shuttles and, eventually, autonomous vehicles and other forms of mobility. There will be what Ford calls a “shared transportation loop” that “limits personal vehicle access to the perimeter of the site.”