Wayne County Chief Deputy Treasurer David Szymanski said that on Thursday, Peruvian developer Fernando Palazuelo made the final payment of the $405,000 he bid for the sprawling, decrepit, Albert Kahn designed Packard Plant on East Grand Blvd in Detroit. Palazuelo was the third highest bidder, but when Texas doctor Jill Van Horn’s winning $6 million bid vaporized and Chicago developer Bill Hults only came up with 10% of his $2 million bid, the county accepted Palazuelo’s price. Palazuelo, who is originally from Spain, claims to have had a successful track record of redeveloping distressed properties in Lima, Peru.
Now that the the moneys have been deposited with an escrow agent, the developer has access to the 3.5 million sq ft property for an environmental assessment that actually began last week and will be completed by the end of the year, Szymanski said. Once that assessment is done, the funds will be released to the county from the escrow account and the deed will be recorded. Palazuelo will then be able to apply for a brownfield credit to help pay for site remediation. The county owned the property due to a property tax foreclosure on the previous owner.
Palazuelo’s plans for the 40 acre site include attracting automotive parts suppliers to the parts of the complex that have not yet deteriorated as well as the construction of a go-kart track. The developer’s sons were competitive kart racers when they were younger. He also says that he plans to personally live on the property, hoping to have an apartment completed by April, once the area is secured.