Packard Plant bid canceled after Chicago-area investor can’t pay up

Anyone surprised?

Yet another outside investor has reneged on a pledge to come up with the money to buy the abandoned Packard Plant on Detroit’s east side.

Chicago-area investor Bill Hults couldn’t pay $1.8 million to buy the 3.5-million-acre site by this evening’s deadline. That means he’s out $200,000 in nonrefundable deposits, which he paid earlier this month. Hults also purchased 17 houses and buildings near the Packard.

Next up to buy the Packard Plant is the third bidder in the tax-foreclosure auction – Peru-based developer Fernando Palazuelo, who has worked on similar projects and is enthralled by the enormity of the industrial ruins. He has experience converting abandoned sites into bustling areas and said he’s up for the challenge.

His cost is his last bid of $405,000.

Hults and Palazuelo both want to convert the sprawling auto factory into a mixed-use complex for businesses, housing and entertainment.

Hults had an opportunity to buy the plant for $1 million in September but he couldn’t come up with the money.

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.