State Senate holds hearing on future of Michigan Central Depot

LANSING, MI – State lawmakers say the old Michigan Central Depot in Detroit could bring federal stimulus money into the state if it's renovated. The state Senate held a hearing Monday to discuss the future of the building and of the state as a hub for international trade.

The dilapidated building sits on ten acres of land in a wide open expanse of Southwest Detroit. Most of the windows in the 500 thousand square foot building have been broken out and barbed fencing surrounds the vacant station.

Carmine Palombo is with Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. He recently toured the building with state lawmakers.

"If you haven't done it, you ought to do it. It's an imposing structure - I don't mean that necessarily negatively - it's huge," Palombo says.

Palombo says many groups - including the state - stand to make a lot of money if freight lines running behind the station are restored along with the depot.

State Senators sent a letter to the building's owner, citing the station as an ideal location for a Homeland Security office and international trade center.