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.

Other Packard stories:

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.

  • Is this the same plant where a robotic camera was used to do a video “tour” a while back? It’s a HUGE project – and did these “investors” really do their homework before bidding? It’s a shame the deals have fallen through – having lived in Detroit for my entire childhood and early adulthood, I’d like to see it rehabbed, but sheesh – it’s a HUGE project. Still holding good vibes for the city and hoping someone DOES come through with a workable plan and the money to pull it off.


    From 5 Million to 400 Grand. Who is running this show?

  • bebow

    Under the circumstances, $405,000 is too much. It might be better to give the Packard away with a generous tax abatement to the most credible interested developer with strict performance strings attached.

  • Gunnut2600

    Yeah this Fernando guy is going to lose his shirt. I used to rehab properties in West Baltimore. All the time I would watch as foriegn investors would try to buy up and fix up a neighborhood, only to be ripped off by everyone. I hope he realizes he has to purchase 24/7 security to keep the scrapper scum at bay. And the biggest crooks are going to be the local regulators. This dude is screwed…