Trains stopped running to the building in 1988.
Purchased by Matty Moroun in 1996. His wife, Nora Moroun, has an attachment to the building, and has been taking an active roll in recent changes.
In 2008, Moroun told the Detroit News: "I hate being associated with (the train station), ... What the hell am I supposed to do with it? I can't redevelop it. There's no reason. That's throwing money to the wind. Can't tear it down, it's an historic landmark."
In 2009, his company petitioned the federal government to take the building.
In June 2011, workers from Professional Abatement Services Inc. hired by Moroun started asbestos removal in preparation for replacing the windows at the station. The station has over 1,400 windows.
In August 2011, Quinn Evans Architects evaluated the structural integrity of the building and expressed confidence in the building's ability to be rehabilitated. The Morouns had spent close to $1M on the rehabilitation and expect the process to take 18-24 months longer. Elisabeth Knibbe of Quinn Evans said in late 2011 that a development plan could take up to four or five years.
New York entrepreneur and theater producer Scott Griffin was contracted by the Morouns to do a feasibility study for the station. In late October 2011, 30 people including entrepreneurs and officials from local foundations, the DIA, politicians, and others toured the space. In 2011, Griffin also tried to buy some buildings on nearby 14th Street, including the Roosevelt Hotel. Instead, he bought a building in Corktown with Angel Gambino that will house Loveland, the Huffington Post, and the former Burton Theater.
- Work begins to replace windows at Michigan Central Depot. Detroit News. 7 June 2011.
- Dusting off the depot: Moroun making good on cleanup. Detroit News. 27 August 2011.
- Moroun spending money on Central Depot. Detroit News. 3 November 2011.