Packard Plant Update - February 2019

General topics, not covered elsewhere, of all things Packard.
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RogerDetroit
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Location: Bloomfield Hills, MI

Packard Plant Update - February 2019

Post by RogerDetroit » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:49 am

Update on the Packard Plant. https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/ ... 815840002/ Salient portions follow.

The Spanish-born owner of the Packard Plant in Detroit has pledged to pay the property's overdue bills to avoid losing his portions of the massive factory ruin to foreclosure, his local attorney said Friday.

Kopietz said the Packard Plant's overdue balance is not actually for property taxes, but rather city storm water drainage fees that hadn't been paid. Those fees were then administratively added to the property tax bill, Kopietz said, even though Palazuelo was current on property taxes.

Kopietz said that Palazuelo told him this week that he intends to pay all of the overdue balance by the end of the month. The large size of the balance is more reflective of the vast size of the 40-acre plant, not late payment penalties.

The expected completion date for first phase of the Packard Plant's redevelopment was recently pushed to 2020 from late 2019.

On a separate front, the City of Detroit is making progress on demolishing a five-story, 300,000-square-foot building on the opposite end of Packard Plant that Palazuelo doesn't own. That city-owned parcel was blighted and holding back the surrounding neighborhood, according to Brian Farkas, director of special projects for the Detroit Building Authority. The demolition has been planned for years and marks the third city-owned Packard Plant structure to be razed.

“I don’t think anyone wants to invest next to a structure that is collapsing," Farkas said. The building is expected to be completely down by late May at a cost of $1.3 million from the city's general fund. A city spokesman said there are
2019 CofD Aerial.jpg
no current plans to redevelop the site once the building is gone.[/i]

Attached is an aerial view from the City of Detroit roughly showing what they own. As a point of reference the small “Privately Owned” label in the far, upper left is East Grand Boulevard.
1941 Packard 160 Convertible Sedan
1941 Packard 120 Business Coupe
1968 AMX - Dick Teague designed

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Leeedy
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Re: Packard Plant Update - February 2019

Post by Leeedy » Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:40 am

On another site, someone asked if the area surrounding the plant has stabilized. This entire area has been on the skids since the late 1950s when Packard (or Studebaker-Packard–as some might insist) pulled out. The only thing that held the area together after Packard's departure was that there were lots and lots of big and small businesses renting space in the plant and they created jobs and generated taxes. But the people running Detroit smelled federal poverty pimp money– if only they could just get their hands on all of that Packard property and turn it into some kind of "enterprise zone." So? They got greedy and kicked out all of the existing tenants –imagining all this would turn into a bonanza. (Yesssss, I know it wasn't all this simple and yesss the ugly mess of drugs wormed its way in here too).

Anyway, the surrounding neighborhood was instantly converted to ghetto. Property was worthless. I know. My dad owned commercial property on Mt. Elliott within walking distance of the southern end of the plant (the parts the city now owns). When my father died in 1965 there were old Packard retirees living in some of our apartments. By the time I came back from Viet Nam in late 1968, I realized I had walked out of one war only to enter another one! I would go to collect rent and sometimes the new tenants would pull guns on me! And that was 50 years ago... so use your imagination on how it is now. It certainly didn't take a turn for the better! Frankly a lot of the houses and apartments around the plant are now vacant lots (including the commercial properties I owned). And with this, far fewer people in the area than there used to be. BUT... it is not the kind of area where I would even want to stop at a gas station–even if I was "packing heat."

Area stabilized? We won't see anything near this notion in our lifetimes. They're still tearing things down and there are untold numbers of gutted properties in the area. There are still "hot-sheet motels" in the area where they rent by the hour. One needs to prepare one's mind for a whole new level of sad devastation when talking about this area and other parts of Detroit. While there are certain areas that appear to be holding their own (and yes everybody talks about building going on downtown with sports stadiums and casinos). BUT even some of the areas that are hanging on have abandoned houses with the front doors standing open or boarded up.

The colossal greed and corruption and the conversion mentality that merely accepts what ought to be unacceptable has gone on so long, and so deeply ingrained that a total stabilization–much less recovery–is still on the level of science-fiction right now.

OldTop
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Re: Packard Plant Update - February 2019

Post by OldTop » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:06 am

There is actually a lot of improvement going on in Detroit (mostly Downtown and Midtown), including the areas near and around the old plant. The best progress has been a streamlined demolition program of vacant and blighted buildings throughout the City. However, for many years the eastside (east of I-75) has been a drug- and crime-ridden area, with a lot of urban wasteland. Gas stations could indeed be dangerous places.

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