As phase 2 starts, most of the Packard Plant expected to be demolished by end of 2024

Posted at 5:55 PM, Mar 04, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-04 18:15:06-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — On Monday, Detroit's construction and demolition team announced that phase two of demolition is beginning at the Packard Plant, and most of the entire plant will now be demolished by the end of 2024.

"It’s not enough to knock things down. Our economic development department in the next two months is going to be putting out proposals for a new auto supplier for this site," Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said.

The announcement comes as the building has been vacant for 68 years.

Valeria Berry lives by the Packard Plant and told our team she's seen a lot happen at the abandoned site over the years, including memorably in 2015 when a tiger got loose in the plant.

"That just really creeped me out because I was like, OK, what if he pops up in my backyard, what if he eats my doggy?' He used to run through the jungle darling. He could have run down there into my house!" she said.

Berry told us the constant illegal ongoings at the plant cause those living around it to feel on edge.

What's more, for 60-some years, it's become an eye-sore taking up space that could be useful.

"When you're on that side, you're looking at nothing but this building and to be able to look across and see people moving, it will be an awesome, marvelous thing," Berry said.

It's a marvelous thing that is now finally happening.

Duggan said the work will be done using funds from the American Rescue Plan, and a section of the building on Grand Boulevard will be preserved as part of history.

That gives a feeling of peace to Berry, who told us she has always appreciated the Packard Plant but has lived her whole life waiting to see something new come here.

"I am sad because it's a part of my history that's leaving, but I'm more so excited because we'll have something new for the newer generations," Berry said.