A crumbling 3.5-million-square-foot heap of buildings, Detroit's Packard Plant complex, looks like a good deal to a developer from Evanston, Ill. Is Bill Hults serious? What we do know is that he "retained" the architecture firm that built the complex in 1903, which is Albert Kahn Associates for his proposed "commercial, housing and entertainment complex." The plant is slated to go the Wayne County foreclosure auction, but The Hults is in talks to buy it now; there is a $974,000 unpaid tax bill.
Facts culled from the Det News article:
· The Hults wants to save as many of the 47 buildings as possible. No word on how many of those ruins are actually possible to save. But when there are 47, you can spare a few, or 10, or 20, right?
· The project could cost at least $350 million and take up to 15 years.
· OMFG Branding! The Hults is all about it, saying "Packard is a global brand and has a global identity. It's kind of like buying Coca-Cola," said Hults, 57. "I couldn't spend enough money to have that built-in identity." Well sort of, Hults. The thing is Coca-Cola did not go out of business.
· UH OH! The Hults "acknowledged he hasn't completed a project of this magnitude and has a mixed record in Chicago, where he left debts from a failed home building company."
· Hults has clearly been drinking the uber-positive about Detroit media Kool-Aide (and in this weather, who doeasn't want a cool beverage?) Quoth he, "Detroit is blowing up. Midtown in Detroit is 98 percent occupied. That's crazy. There is tremendous interest."
· Developer seeks new life for crumbling Packard Plant [The Detroit News]
· Packard Plant Headed For Auction As One Massive Disaster [Curbed Detroit]
· Previous Packard Plant Coverage [Curbed Detroit]