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The First Phase of The Packard Plant Project is Underway


After years of neglect, decay and broken promises, the first work crews and heavy equipment arrived this week and began stabilizing the site for Arte Express, the new owner of the Packard Plant complex in Detroit, Michigan. The first phase of the operations are involving the removable of dangerous and crumbling areas of the structure beyond repair, removing debris and starting the process of removing hazardous waste from the property. The photos below show some of the results of this weeks work.

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  • Before cleanup at the Packard Plant.

Peruvian developer Fernando Palazuelo, who has a many years of experience in saving and renovating buildings around the world, bought the plant complex last year, and it has taken until now to get everything set to start the process. He is being assisted by Kari Smith, who is the Manager-Architectural Historian and the rest of his team. Plans are underway to involve the local community and to employ local workers to save and convert salvageable areas that can be used for both commercial and cultural uses in phases.

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  • After initial cleanup at the Packard Plant.

Palazuelo has retained Albert Kahn Associates, the company that originated from design firm started by Albert Kahn, the architect who designed many of the original structures. On the Arte Express site, you can learn more and see a number of historic images of the cars built there and the original constitution of some of the buildings. You can look back on our extensive previous coverage of the Packard Plant here. The images courtesy of Art Express. We will keep you posted of further developments.


7 responses to “The First Phase of The Packard Plant Project is Underway

    • We agree and are delighted to see this development. This week marks the first positive movement of the Packard complex in a long time and we wish Fernando Palazuelo and his Arte Express organization good luck with this endeavor.

  1. Very exciting news David, I wish them all good luck and success. Lord knows Detroit could use this type of urban renewal and uplifting.

  2. That’s great news. We have been reading that something would be done with the old Packard plant. Now it’s going to be reality. GREAT!

  3. I am thrilled to know the Packard plant is not just falling prey to the wreckers’ ball. Knowing how Mr. Kahn designed the poured monolithic concrete column structure, the wreckers ball might have to call in a real demolition company with dynamite at many strategic locations.

    • I’m so thrilled. I’m the director of Pacific Northwest Packards, the Washington state chapter of Packard Automobile Classics, also known as The Packard Club. Thanks, Gene Stout.

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