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Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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After Packard Plant Renovation, What’s Next for Detroit’s Other Empty Auto Factories?

Posted June 13, 2017 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: detroit manufacturing packard

Despite the date set for the end of production at Fisher Body Plant #21 in Detroit – April Fools Day, 1984 – General Motors executives were serious about moving Cadillac limousine production out of the plant and closing it for good. More than 30 years later, the empty remains of the plant still loom over a highly traveled Detroit interchange, a stark reminder of the estimated 900 vacant industrial buildings – many of them former auto factories or suppliers – that dot the city’s maps.

As highlighted in a report that the independent non-profit agency Detroit Future City released last week, not only do those buildings “undermine adjacent property values, isolate the surrounding communities both geographically and economically, and exacerbate poverty” but they’re also highly unlikely to return to industrial use.

“The city did recently land a new auto parts plant, but new manufacturing on a large scale will always use new development on clear land,” said Tom Goddeeris, the director of community development for Detroit Future City. “Old plants like these are truly obsolete for modern large scale industrial development.”

Are decrepit Detroit factories poised for redevelopment or is the Packard plant a one-off restoration?

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