Uh-oh, the Illinois developer who told (tricked?) the media about his plans to redevelop the Packard Plant is now MIA. But fear not! If you've got $21,000 lying around, maybe you can pick up where he left off.
Bill Hults told all of Detroit that he had a grandiose plan to make over the ruins into a retail/residential hub over the next 15 years. Some were skeptical. Many were optimistic. We needed something that showed proof of development, and Hults came armed with sketches and a list of investors.
This is now playing out Lyle Lanley-style except with the mysterious briefcases of money and angry North Haverbrook residents. Time has passed and since Hults has not put down a bid on the property to pay off back taxes owed, Wayne County can now auction off the 3.5-million-square foot site for the low, low cost of $21,000.
For comparison's sake: A Packard Executive in 1956 was $4,160. Adjusted for inflation, it would be $34,660 now. This is heartbreaking if you think too deeply about it, so try not to.
There are two scenarios that could happen now, Wayne County says. The plant's previous owner, who let it slip into foreclosure, could pay $1 million in back taxes. That's doubtful.
Or, the city of Detroit could pay the back taxes itself and take control of the property. That's...maybe not a bad idea? I can't say for sure. Detroit is under emergency management but we just got a $300 million cashflow, some of which is intended to clear vacant structures. If Detroit finally took over the property, it could finally have the proper funds to raze it for good and then sell it to a potential buyer.
Or no one touches the plant at all. We won't know until the next Wayne County tax auction begins on October 8, so stay tuned.
[Photo via Getty]