Crain's Detroit Business reports Detroit's abandoned Packard plant is set to come up for auction this September. Wayne County officially foreclosed on the property this year due to tax delinquency. The owner owed around $975,000 on the 43 parcels that make up the old manufacturing site, and bidding is expected to start at that figure. All of the parcels will be sold together as a bundled property, but if the plant fails to sell, Wayne County will put it up for auction again in October at a bundled $500 per parcel. That means that in theory, someone could walk away with the whole site for a mere $21,500.

Originally constructed in 1903, the plant covers 3.5 million square feet of floor area. Though the Packard auto brand closed up shop in 1958, other small businesses have used portions of the facility for a range of endeavors, including simple storage. Recent years have seen the plant devolve into an empty hulk, with scrappers, vandals and graffiti artists having their way with the sites many buildings.

The city of Detroit has been working to foreclose on the property for years, but wound up tangled in a legal dispute over who actually owns the land.


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  • 29 Comments
      Albisylk
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is the future headquarters of Sarif Industries.
      Buckingham's
      • 1 Year Ago
      If somebody buys it, where are all the druggies and homeless people going to go?
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        cadetgray
        • 1 Year Ago
        Actually the nail in the coffin for Packard came from the Republican Eisenhower administration when they pulled the defense contracts from Studebaker-Packard Corporation and gave them to Ford and GM. Packard had invested in tooling and a plant to build jet engines for the Korean War. When the cease fire was called the government shifted the orders to the two biggest defense contractors in Detroit. Had the production stayed with Packard, the profits would have funded the totally new 1957 model program for Packard, Clipper, and Studebaker. If you want to know why the contracts left Packard for Ford and GM just follow the money....look at campaign contributions to the GOP for the 1956 election when Packard had no money to spare. How else did Eisenhower reward the big three in Detroit for those donation checks? It's called the Interstate Highway System. The automakers knew that better roads were key to increasing demand for large profitable cars with equally large powerful V8 engines. Low geared 6 cylinders are fine when roads are mostly 45-50 mph, but to use the 70 mph interstate highways, a new V8 was felt to be safer.
        Richard
        • 1 Year Ago
        Why does it have to be put on the Democrats? Did you ever consider that the building was constructed in 1903 and it is a contamination nightmare. How about the product being developed from this facility was no longer wanted by the public. The just could not produce a viable auto that anyone wanted. Just another example of progress and moving on to the 21st century. When we entered into the digital era the 35mm camera just faded away. How about the Desoto? Gone. No public need. Did not keep up with changing times....
      canuckcharlie
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ken Block, Your playground is ready.
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      It would have made a nice museum.
      Ben Dover
      • 1 Year Ago
      Damn, Detroit used to be such a beautiful city in the 50s. What happened. :(
        Andy Smith
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ben Dover
        60+ years of demokrats. Another liberal success story.
          tump
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Andy Smith
          GM wasn't run by liberals.
        c.mertz
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ben Dover
        Look for the union label.
          icemilkcoffee
          • 1 Year Ago
          @c.mertz
          By that measure, both South Korea and Germany should be wastelands by now.
        Duck
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ben Dover
        Detroit: 82.7% Black; 7.6% White; 2.8% Hispanic; 1.1% Asian; 5.8% Other/Mixed
          tump
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Duck
          Duck, what were the demographics when the white people running place ****** it up and left?
          Teleny411
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Duck
          Capitalism impoverishes working people regardless of color.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Duck
          [blocked]
        tump
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ben Dover
        That's what happens when a monopoly eats its own. It died in the early 70s, it just took a while to rot.
        t.tirey
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ben Dover
        Give you one guess.
      Hossi Blumengaarten
      • 1 Year Ago
      see a picture of Hiroshima in 1945 and Detroit in 1945 now in 2013 look at a picture of Hiroshima and Detroit IT IS EASIER to come back from a Nuclean BOMB than YEARS of Democrat control!!!
      car4068043
      • 1 Year Ago
      The problem with redeveloping sites like this is that they are all environmental nightmares-remember, it was built in 1903 and operated for years unabated by EPA regulations. The structure itself is probably loaded with asbestos and lead paint and here are likely tons of contaminants in the soils ranging from petroleum produucts to acids to pcbs to coal ash. And because the ground itself is likely contaminated, that leads to all manner of issues with potable water being affected. Whomever gets this site better be ready to spend years and MILLIONS to simply clean it up. This is a common issue across the great manufacturing states of the old rust belt; Cleveland, Puittsburrgh and Buffalo for example. Good luck.
      VW_TDI_FTW
      • 1 Year Ago
      I really do love this city, and wish it would turn around, but, that place is probably a superfund site at this rate. You might buy it for 21,500 but it will cost you millions upon millions to clean it up and get it back together. Not a great area of town either...
      itakeitlikeaman
      • 1 Year Ago
      How about a casino
      Chris
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm so sick of all of this arguing back and forth about Democrats and Republicans!! Why don't we just have another civil war already, and get it over with? I come here to try and escape political talk, but there really is no escaping it these days, is there? The political busy bodies won't be happy until they've tainted every aspect of life.
      Chris
      • 1 Year Ago
      It would be cool if someone can find a way to save it and redevelop it, but given that it's been sitting vacant since 1958, I won't get my hopes up. There's no telling how far gone some of those buildings are by now. Another issue with the site is where it is located. The most desirable areas of the city for redevelopment right now are those areas in and around the Downtown and Midtown areas, and historic sections of the city such as the Corktown neighborhood.
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