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SHELBY TOWNSHIP, MI-Officials are expected next week to decide the fate of two rezoning requests by the developer of the former Packard Proving Grounds site. The requests are for properties on Van Dyke and 23 Mile that will be rezoned for residential use.

The rezoning proposals are part of a total 337-acre development on the former Packard Proving Grounds from 22 Mile to 23 Mile and Van Dyke almost to Mound. The project includes a mixture of single-family homes and condominiums, offices, stores, restaurants and the historic Packard facilities.

Grand Sakwa Properties Inc. is requesting to rezone 79 acres on 23 Mile between Mound and Van Dyke from industrial to single- and multifamily residential. The developers also are requesting to rezone nearly 15 acres on the west side of Van Dyke between 22 Mile and 23 Mile from shopping center designation and heavy manufacturing to multifamily housing.

The Shelby Township planning commission will consider the requests during their meeting tonight.

Packard, known for building large-body luxury automobiles, had a manufacturing plant on East Grand Boulevard in Detroit. The company purchased 560 acres in Shelby Township in 1925 when road testing the cars in the city became too dangerous to other motorists.

The company fell on hard times following World War II. The last Packard was built in 1958. Three years later, the property was sold to Ford, which then built its Utica Trim Plant on the site.

Ford sold 337 acres of the property to be redeveloped into a mixed use-development of homes, offices, retail and the Packard facilities. The property management arm of the automotive giant sold 175 acres of the site to Grand Sakwa Properties Inc.

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