Timeline Set For Packard Plant Redevelopment Master Plan

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – The owner of Detroit’s blighted Packard car plant complex said he hopes to finish a master redevelopment plan for the site within three to four months.

The Detroit Free Press reported that Fernando Palazuelo discussed his timeline Thursday after the premiere of the documentary “Packard: The Last Shift” at the Freep Film Festival, which the newspaper produces.

“We are finishing … our homework,” he said.

Palazuelo said he’ll be ready to meet with potential tenants after the plan is finished. He plans to seek financing after the first tenants commit.

Palazuelo, a developer from Peru, bid $405,000 for the property last year during a tax foreclosure auction. He’s said he plans to build an apartment for himself on the property and use the site for residential, retail, offices, light industry, recreation and art.

Earlier this year, Palazuelo said redevelopment efforts were delayed by a dispute with an ex-owner who was seeking money from him. Palazuelo previously set a goal to have the apartment for himself and his first signed lease ready by April 9, his 59th birthday.

“I will try to do it this year,” he said Thursday night.

The property sale, in January, came after two higher bidders in a Wayne County auction failed to come through with the cash.

The plant was built in 1903. The last Packard automobile was built there in the mid-1950s. Smaller industrial businesses used it afterward. As the years passed, the crumbling property increasingly became the target of arsonists, thieves, metal scrappers, urban explorers and graffiti artists.

[PHOTOS: A PEEK INSIDE THE PACKARD PLANT]

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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