Ford cautioned there's no done deal yet to purchase the train station from the family of billionaire trucking mogul Manual "Matty" Moroun.
"There's T's to cross and i's to dot and nothing is -- as you know -- officially announced yet," Ford told reporters.
The push to establish a campus in Corktown beyond the building Ford purchased in December at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Rosa Parks Boulevard is driven by a desire to "cluster" the autonomous and electric vehicle units in one spot, Ford said.
"I think that's what's really driving it," he said.
The Michigan Central Station has sat vacant since the last Amtrak train left the station in January 1988 and become an internationally recognized symbol of the city’s late 20th century decline. The Morouns have said they spent $8 million installing 1,100 new windows in the building in 2015.
But there’s an unknown cost of rehabilitating the station and its 13-floor office tower atop of the 110,000-square-foot first-floor concourse that sat open to the elements for years -- a challenge the Ford scion acknowledged Monday.
"I don’t know how long it’s going to take to redevelop all of that if we did buy the building," Edsel Ford II told reporters. "But it seems to me that the building is in somewhat disrepair, so we would have to spend some time and effort and redo it all."