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Former Plymouth Road plant/HQ sold for $600

by David Zatz on

Recently, Allpar noted that the former American Motors headquarters on Plymouth Road, also home to Chrysler’s Jeep/Truck Engineering group for many years, was up for auction — for at least $500, plus an overdue tax bill of over $160,000.

The impressive edifice had been built by Kelvinator as their headquarters and refrigerator plant. It sold for $600 as the county sold foreclosed properties. The name of the bidder is not yet available.

The 1927 facility, off Plymouth Road, was used for over 80 years, and housed over a thousand people in 2009. It was worth far more, but the much of the interior and some of the exterior was allegedly damaged or destroyed by scrap-hauler Terry Williams, who bought it through a proxy during the bankruptcy.  Mr. Williams was accused of tearing apart the building to raid it for steel and copper pipes and wiring; he had told Detroit News that he planned to turn the building into a home for autistic children.

The Plymouth Road Office Complex had been posted for sale in the millions of dollars by Cerberus, finding no buyers, likely due to the area it was in. The company, having slashed its engineering staff repeatedly, no longer needed the facility; ironically, the Chrysler Technical Center is now fully staffed and fully equipped engineering space would be helpful. The future of the historic but heavily damaged complex is now unknown, but it seems unlikely that it could be pressed into use without a full renovation.

Some Detroit News information, via Burton Bouwkamp, was used for this story.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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