Packard Plant Pedestrian Bridge Wrapped In 1930s Glory For Next Year
In shambles with the rest of the property, the pedestrian bridge at the Packard Plant in Detroit is now wrapped in its 1930s glory for the next year.
Last Thursday, workers covered the historic bridge on both sides with a mesh cover imprinted with the structure as it was back when the plant was in its heyday in the early 20th century, Detroit Free Press reports. The plant’s current owner, Fernando Palazuelo, declared the bridge would physically resemble those covers once more within the next year, at which point said covers would be taken down.
The restoration work on the bridge, as well as the attached four-story administration building on the north side, is part of an ongoing effort to renovate the property for commercial development. The building would be ready for four tenants — including Palazuelo’s Arte Express, the company financing the restoration, and Detroit Training Center — by H1 2017.
Currently, Palazuelo is paying $20 million on the first phase of the project, though he is looking to reduce the investment down to $12 million. The $8 million would likely go into his plans to bid on the Fisher and Albert Kahn buildings in Detroit’s New Center historic district this summer, as well as the vacant Book Tower and Book Building downtown; Palazuelo paid $405,000 for the 40-acre Packard property at auction in 2013.
As for the rest of the plant, director of development Kari Smith says the project is close to securing several key tenants, including two large tenants who would be placed in the south end of the property. Future restoration would then be based on each tenant’s needs.
Palazuelo himself would also be a residential tenant at Packard. He’s working on his apartment as renovations press forward, though a few self-imposed goals were missed thus far.
The bridge and building restoration is set to begin July 1.
Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.
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