DETROIT (WWJ) – The prospective buyer of the crumbling Detroit Packard plant has been given a one-week extension to pay up.

Chicago developer William Hults, who has already made $200,000 in nonrefundable deposits toward his total bid on the defunct auto factory, has yet to come forward with the remaining $1.8 million.

Officials at the Wayne County treasurer’s office say Hults has until Nov. 15 to pay up.

“We have indicated that final payment has to be made by Friday, the 15th, and that’s to be a wire transfer,” said Wayne County Chief Deputy Treasurer Dave Szymanski. “We don’t anticipate it dragging out beyond that, and yet, as always, we are hoping for the best … and we’re preparing for in case that doesn’t happen.”

Szymanski said, to some, it may feel like a monotonous process.

“To outsiders they may wonder what’s taking so long, why is this still dragging on,” Szymanski said. “But it’s a very deliberative process where we take the first place bidder first, try to work with them. When that fails, we go to second place and try to work it out with them.”

Szymanski said his department remains confident they will collect the nearly $2 million owed.

He said they are taking the purchase a day at a time and are dealing with the difficulties being presented.

“You know, I gotta say it’s not optimism, it’s more pragmatism,” he said. “We just understand that if they don’t perform we have Plan B and Plan C and we’re prepared to go wherever we need to go … We’re taking it a day at a time.”

Szymanski said, if the wire transfer doesn’t come through on time, the deposit will be forfeited.


Hults has said he wants to convert the sprawling site into mixed-use property, with a commercial, residential and entertainment development.

A Texas doctor’s $6 million top bid on the blighted property was thrown out last month after she and her group of investors failed to come up with the cash.

The No. 3 bid is from Fernando Palazuelo of Peru.

Bidding began at $21,000.

The dilapidated 40-acre plant, located along East Grand Boulevard, has not been used for car production since the 1950s. As the years passed, the property increasingly became the target of arsonists, thieves, metal scrappers, urban explorers and graffiti artists.


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