High atop the crumbling roof of the abandoned Packard Plant in Detroit some teenagers hang out. (John T. Greilick / The Detroit News)
Detroit — The Texas doctor whose $6 million bid on the Packard Plant was canceled after a missed payment deadline is questioning why the county wouldn't give her more time to pay up.
"It seemed he had already made up his mind to talk to the second bidder," Jill Van Horn wrote in an email to The News late Wednesday referring to Wayne County Treasurer Chief Deputy David Szymanski's decision Wednesday to cancel her bid.
The Texas doctor also blamed her staff for releasing the error-ridden three-page statement Tuesday comparing tapping into Detroit’s potential to hydroelectricity and claiming she was prepared to buy all of Detroit’s vacant property, calling the statement “unscrutinized and unfortunate.”
“I really have no good explanation as to why someone on our team would submit something like that with not even using the invention called 'spell check',” she wrote in an email. "I don't mean to say that our team is not good because they are but you can't expect all investors to be spelling bee champs either. I'm not going to defend it further since I did not write it."
Her spokesman had said earlier the three pages of remarks were made by one of her representatives, Mark Day, to investors in the project.
The deal fell apart with the county after officials expressed concern over the statement and Van Horn missed a noon Wednesday deadline to talk with the Wayne County Treasurer about putting down a $2 million deposit.
She said she is still hopeful the bid will be reconsidered and she remains serious about helping Detroit.
"We are serious about purchasing other properties in Detroit," Van Horn wrote. “All of this is being proposed in an effort to help revitalize a city that really needs it."
Szymanski has now set a deadline of the end of Thursday for the second highest bidder, Chicago-area developer Bill Hults, to pay $2,003,000 for the property. That was the price the plant reached before Hults and Van Horn entered a bidding war that drove bids to $6,038,000.