Packard Plant owner pays delinquent taxes, readies for cleanup

Packard
Packard plant. All photos by Steve Neavling

For the first time in decades, someone is paying property taxes on the abandoned Packard Plant.

Peru-based developer Fernando Palazuelo, who bought the sprawling ruins in December for $405,000, made good on his delinquent tax bill this week after clearing up a dispute over the amount due.

Now Palazuelo is pulling city permits to begin removing dangerous debris from the Packard’s former administration building, which was heavily damaged by scrappers who brazenly removed an entire floor last year.

Packard

Once the work is complete, Palazuelo plans to restore the iconic brick bridge over East Grand Boulevard. The bridge, which was used to transport the shells of automobiles to the engine area, has been heavily vandalized.
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“Our first line of business is taking care of the dangerous debris on both sides of the administration building,” project manager Kari Smith said. “We are going to remove all of the debris.”

Palazuelo, who has led similar renovation projects in Peru , is seeking tenants for a mixed-use development across 35 acres of industrial buildings designed by famed architect Albert Kahn. The plan is to create space for lofts, offices, entertainment, restaurants and retailers.
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The administration building was ravaged by scrappers.

This fall, Palazuelo plans to host the Detroit Symphony Orchestra on the edge of the Packard Plant. By next summer, Palazuelo hopes to host the DSO for a public concert inside the Packard.
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Palazuelo purchased the Packard Plant in the Wayne County tax foreclosure auction.

Anyone interested in leasing space at the Packard Plant is asked to email Smith at ksmith@livingaroundart.com.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.