Packard Plant Pedestrian Bridge Wrapped In 1930s Glory For Next Year

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
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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.

[Source: Daniel Lobo/ Flickr/ CC BY 2.0]

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

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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  • Andrewa Andrewa on May 28, 2015

    What a crying shame that a company capable of manufacturing Rolls Royce engines only 10 to 20% down on power output and reliability versus the made in Great Britain real deal but in much greater quantities and lower prices should find itself out of business. Perhaps they should (like General Electric, Pratt and Whitney etc.) have copied the British jet engine designs, and kept going that way. Imagine American Rolls Royce cars with the Packard name price quality and reliability available today. We would perhaps again end up with something like the North American P51 Mustang.

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Jun 01, 2015

    Just give it a few more years until this guy runs out of money, then it'll sit for some more years... before someone else comes along with big dreams in their eyes.

    • -Nate -Nate on Feb 01, 2019

      2.1.2019 Wish granted Cory . I see there's an operating business in the South end of one building . -Nate

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