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Video: The Packard Plant by Drone Cam

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I noticed in some scenes one could see the shadow of the drone as it was doing its flyby. Neat! If this is the entire plant, there sure does not seem like anything left worth rehabbing?

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I noticed in some scenes one could see the shadow of the drone as it was doing its flyby. Neat! If this is the entire plant, there sure does not seem like anything left worth rehabbing?

Wow, good eye. Yes, it's a neat little drone. I know the Packard ruins pretty well and this video is the closest thing to being there I've seen.

Probably the only usable part of the complex is the former Merlin plant at the far north end. However, the dated layout would probably only be good for warehousing -- and not surprisingly, the city already has an extreme glut in warehouse space.

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GREAT JOB!!! They say a picture is worth a thousand words.....If thats the case this is worth a gazillion. Best coverage I have see yet......Thanks.

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For someone who has never been there before, and sad that I did not see it when it was more complete, is the building falling down on itself or is it being taken down? Thanks

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For someone who has never been there before, and sad that I did not see it when it was more complete, is the building falling down on itself or is it being taken down? Thanks

The buildings are falling in on their own. There's no active demolition effort, but there is some help in some cases.

The scrappers take the steel window frames and other pieces, allowing water inside the buildings, which penetrates the cracks and porosities in the reinforced concrete. The water then freezes in the winter, splitting and heaving the concrete. This is how some buildings are collapsing from the top down, one or two floors at a time. For the last two years or so the collapse has really started to accelerate, especially in the sections south of East Grand Boulevard.

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.................especially in the sections south of East Grand Boulevard.

Even the street name is Grand! I've never owned a Packard, but can certainly appreciate its history

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Those walls must contain so many broken dreams, so much heartbreak, a once proud company and employer of thousands reduced to rubble. Has this building been used for other motorcar manufacture after Packard's demise ? Just wondering.

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Those walls must contain so many broken dreams, so much heartbreak, a once proud company and employer of thousands reduced to rubble. Has this building been used for other motorcar manufacture after Packard's demise ? Just wondering.

I've spent considerable time at the Packard plant, and some may find this strange but the place does not generate that kind of sadness in me. Not at all. I find the place historically interesting, that's the extent of it. The last car was built there in 1955 -- time enough for everyone to be over it.

After that the complex was subdivided and turned into a business incubator and industrial park, but maintenance was always deferred and I doubt if occupancy ever exceeded 40 or 50 percent. Warehousing, car and boat storage, manufacturing, recycling, every kind of marginal enterprise. The past 20 years or so have been especially hard on the complex and the last business moved out in around (?) 2010. I don't know this, but it seems that for years, occupants were there rent-free because the landlord was without recourse -- he couldn't take tenants to court because the court was looking for him as well.

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Sad, i have a few of the postcard from the 20's when it was the top of the line.

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Very early photo of Packard plant taken from corner of East Grand Boulevard and Concord looking west.

pmfp.jpg

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This is the Packard Merlin plant, one of the newer buildings (c1941) in the complex and possibly one of the few still usable. It's at the far northern end of the property closest to the I-94 Edsel Ford Expressway. Top photo was taken from the corner of what was then Harper and Concord and shows the building nearing completion. The bottom aerial photo is contemporary.

ianv.jpg

n7o.JPG

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Update: A Chicago real estate developer, Bill Hults, successfully made a $100,000 nonrefundable cash deposit on Friday and now must submit the rest of his $2.2 million offer early this week.

Below is an artist's rendering showing his ambitious plans for the facility -- residential, retail and commercial, etc...

71w7.jpg

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I think I missed something. I thought the winning bidder was a woman and her husband from Texas for something like 6 Million. Did that fall through?

When I first moved to Detroit, we used to go to a lot of all night-and unauthorized- rave parties in the Packard plant and would also would bring our cars inside and race them down the former assembly line areas. The legendary graffiti artist Banksy had a mural in there that was "removed" via taking out the wall it was painted on and it supposedly sold for well into the upper six digits not too many years ago.

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I'm surprised they were allowed to make that video. You have to be real careful about where you fly any drone these days; people are getting real paranoid about them. The last time I tried flying over what was left of an old manufacturing plant the cops were there in 5 minutes to chase me away! That was just a test flight to feel the air currents. I didn't even have camera gear mounted.

Edited by Balr14 (see edit history)

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I'm surprised they were allowed to make that video. You have to be real careful about where you fly any drone these days; people are getting real paranoid about them. The last time I tried flying over what was left of an old manufacturing plant the cops were there in 5 minutes to chase me away! That was just a test flight to feel the air currents. I didn't even have camera gear mounted.

Not a lot of enforcement of any kind around the plant. A few years back a fire hydrant rusted out and it leaked badly for days.

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Detroit and the Packard plant were extensively covered on Anthony Bourdain's CNN program, Parts Unknown, last night. Excellent job, well worth watching if you get the chance.

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To nobody's surprise, the most recent purchaser of the plant has defaulted on his payment. Story here:

http://motorcitymuckraker.com/2013/11/15/packard-plant-bid-canceled-chicago-area-investor-cant-pay/

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Wish I had more money than I knew what to do with, I would buy the Packard name the old grounds, rehab and get the cars rolling again with a mixture of old styling and lines of modern cars. Bound to be a money loser for a long time but sure would be fun.

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