Techno guru envisions new beginning for long-abandoned Fisher Body

Fisher Body Plant 21 (Steve Neavling/MCM)
Fisher Body Plant 21 (Steve Neavling/MCM)

The founder of a German nightclub and record label wants to transform the hulking and abandoned Fisher Body Plant 21 in Detroit into a techno club with a restaurant, art festival and startup co-working space.

Dimitri Hegemann, 60, told the Wall Street Journal that he’s trying to acquire the six-story, city-owned building, which was designed by famed architect Albert Kahn and was used to churn out Buick and Cadillac bodies.

“Fisher Body is my first real love,” said Hegemann, who visited the plant during each of his past 15 visits.

fisher bodyThe 536,000-square-foot building is still contaminated despite environmental cleanup efforts.

According to, a site that chronicles abandonment in the city, the building has been “in steady decline, slowly being broken down by natural elements. Several sections of the floor have caved in, the cement being eaten away by water and broken by ice. At least one fire heavily damaged the ground level of the first floor.”

What if the building is too contaminated?

Hegemann said he then would consider Michigan Central Station, Detroit’s long-abandoned train station.

Hegemann is the founder of Tresor, a world-famous techno-music club.

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.