Detroit’s Packard Complex Could Sell Below $100,000 If Deal Fails
Filed by KOSU News in Business.
August 22, 2013
The Packard plant, which once symbolized the might of America’s auto industry, is at risk of heading to auction if a pending development deal fails. If that happens, The Detroit Free Press reports, the 35-acre site could eventually be sold “for as little as $21,000.”
That figure comes from Wayne County Deputy Treasurer David Szymanski, the Free Press reports. If such a sale were to take place, 3.5 million square feet of space could be acquired for less than $30,000.
For that low price to come about, the proposed deal would have to fall through. As The Detroit News reports, Szymanski hopes to finalize the transaction next week.
But the developer, Illinois-based William Hults, “acknowledges there are many hurdles to cross,” the Free Press reports. “He has yet to secure project financing, forge development partnerships or meet with Detroit’s development chief, George Jackson, who could provide assistance. And he has never completed a project of this magnitude.”
If no deal is reached by Sept. 15, the Packard site would then go to an initial auction — at which it might not sell, because the minimum bides would be around $1 million, reflecting back taxes and interest owed on the property.
The next step would be for the property’s 42 parcels to go up for auction individually in October, with a minimum bid of $500 each — a scenario that yields Szymanski’s $21,000 figure.
The 110-year-old Packard complex has been deteriorating for years. Parts of it were demolished in the 1950s. If he acquires it, Hults hopes to turn the site into a mixed-use structure, with commercial and residential sections.
A video feature by the Free Press looks at the role the Packard plant plays in today’s Detroit, where it attracts people interesting in painting graffiti and salvaging metal. Under the terms of the potential sale, Hults would have six months to either secure the site or demolish the plant. [Copyright 2013 NPR]