Detroit — On a gray Friday afternoon, a high reach excavator removed a slab of reinforced concrete from of a gutted building at Detroit's Packard Plant, thus starting the next phase to find a new life for one of the city's most infamous ruin.
The piece was removed from a tattered former administration building on Concord Street. It's just one of the multiple ravaged buildings in this facility that is a half-mile long.
Friday began what could be a clean up of the entire site, which is expected to take months. It's part of what could be 10-15 year redevelopment plan that's been launched by the facility's new owner, Fernando Palazuelo.
The site is named after a dead automaker that ended production at the east side plant in 1956. Dozens of smaller businesses worked out of part of the plant until the late '90s. Then the city foreclosed on the property and the facility began to be torn apart by scrappers and vandals.
The sprawling site is starting to be cleaned up thanks to Palazuelo. Palazuelo is trying to raise an estimated $300 million-$400 million to develop the site. He bought the former Packard facility for $405,000 during last year's Wayne County auction of tax foreclosed properties. He recently admitted he didn't have clear title to the property until this summer.
Palazuelo's company Arte Express Detroit began removal of environmental toxins months ago.