2nd round of demolition begins at Detroit’s iconic Packard plant

City demolishing ‘major portion’ of abandoned plant

DETROIT – City officials announced Tuesday the second round of demolition of Detroit’s iconic, and deteriorating, Packard plant that was ordered to be destroyed.

The city of Detroit has been working since last September to demolish the Packard Automotive Plant, which has been largely abandoned for years. The property was purchased for $405,000 in 2013 by Fernando Palazuelo, who said he planned to restore and reopen the site as a mixed-use commercial, residential and cultural development.

That redevelopment project, which Palazuelo initially estimated would cost $350 million, never happened.

Now, everything at the 40-acre site is being demolished or removed after a judge has declared the plant a public nuisance.

In April 2022, a judge ordered Palazuelo to demolish all buildings and structures on the property, located on East Grand Boulevard. The owner was also ordered to remove all rubbish and debris from the site.

Palazuelo failed to appear for court hearings and meet deadlines regarding the demolition, so the city has taken on the demolition project, which it has been authorized to do. The property owner may still be responsible for paying the cost of the project.

The first round of demolition began at the end of September 2022. That portion of the plant was demolished first because the city said it was threatening the safety of nearby residents and businesses.

City officials announced Tuesday, Jan. 24, that it has begun demolition of a “second major portion” of the Packard plant -- a parcel located at 1539 East Grand Boulevard, near the intersection of Palmer and Canton streets.

It is currently unclear when the entire demolition project will be finished. Detroit officials estimate the project will cost $1.2 million.

See footage from the demolition site Tuesday in the video player above.

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.