Meet the latest tourist attractions: Abandoned factories

Six decades after shutting down, Detroit’s Packard Plant is being revived with tours of the former auto facility and new tenants. Plans for a brewery and a restaurant are also in the works. (Tanya Moutzalias/Ann Arbor News/Associated Press)

“Trip-planning multiple choice: 
a) Mountains b) Sand c) Surf
d) Factories.

If you picked the last vacation option, you’ve got company.

“We’re finding a hunger,” says Michael Boettcher, an urban planner and industrial-history buff. “Everyone has been to Disney World, and it’s like, what else you got?” Read more

A year into revival efforts, Packard Plant cleans up

Photo: Dave Guralnick | The Detroit News

“Detroit — It’s been nearly a year since the owner of the Packard Plant publicly kicked off the first phase of a $300 million-plus renovation plan of the sprawling 40-acre property.

In that time, $4 million has been spent on pre-development and clean-up, with more than 14,000 yards of debris hauled away from the lower east side plant that sat mostly vacant for decades, according to Kari Smith, director of development for the project through site owner Arte Express Detroit. There are plans for a brewery to open next year, and more than 1,000 people have taken tours to get a look at the site.” Read More

2017 in Review

Happy New Year from the Packard Plant Project! Due to avid interest, we want to share with you the work completed in 2017. Below are the before and after photos featuring each floor of the Administration building, 1651 E Grand Blvd. Exterior landscape cleanup and rooftop remediation.  For the full slideshow of the Administration building go here.

Administration Building

In August, in partnership with Pure Detroit, official tours began at the Packard Plant. They were extremely popular, held four times a week on Saturday and Sunday.  Due to winter weather, the tours ceased in December but will start up again in the Spring. For more information visit Pure Detroit.

Pure Detroit Tours

Tour route Packard tours

In October, you may have seen a crane hovering above the Administration Building. That was the team from Comet Construction clearing structural steel and debris left on the roof from the collapse of the penthouse photo lab. This created a safer work environment for restoration efforts to continue on the Administration Building.

Packard Admin Building

Packard Admin Building

Packard Admin Building

Penthouse cleanup

In 2017 we also focused our attention on 1651 E Grand Blvd, designed by architect Albert Kahn, future site of the Packard Plant Brewery. The Detroit based team from Qualified Abatement cleaned and remediated the interior and exterior space. Once the remediation was completed our landscape crew removed the overgrowth and debris. What an amazing difference and great work by both crews.

1651 E Grand Blvd

Before and After of 1651


We are excited about the new year and movement forward on the Packard Plant Project. We thank you for your continued support. We couldn’t do it without you.


Summer Progress 2017

Arte Express Detroit and the Packard Plant Project have been busy this summer! Our amazing Detroit based team at Qualified Abatement is just finishing up with cleaning every last bit of contamination and debris from the former Administration Building.
See the changes floor by floor!

First Floor


Second Floor


Third Floor


Fourth Floor