The Packard Plant in Detroit on July 16, 2013. (Daniel Mears / The Detroit News)
Developer Bill Hults must put up a nonrefundable $100,000 retainer by 3 p.m. Friday if he wants to buy the long-shuttered Packard Plant, a Wayne County official said Thursday.
Hults also must prove that he has rest of the $2 million — money he would have to pay in full by 3 p.m. Monday, Wayne County chief deputy treasurer David Szymanski said.
“We think it’s appropriate to give (Hults) the opportunity to perform,” Szymanski said.
Hults became the winning bidder after the treasurer’s office scuttled plans from a Texas doctor to buy the aging manufacturing site for $6 million.
The Chicago-area developer wants to convert the former east side auto factory on East Grand and Mount Elliott into a commercial, housing and entertainment complex. He had a chance to buy the property for $1 million in September but could not come up with the money, prompting the auction that led to a winning $6 million bid from Jill Van Horn of Ennis, Texas.
Hults contacted the treasurer’s office Thursday to ask for more time and Treasurer Ray Wojtowicz agreed. Hults did not return calls Thursday seeking comment.
All told, Hults has to pay $2,003,000 by 3 p.m. Monday.
If Hults does not meet the deadlines, the treasurer’s office is expected to turn to the third-highest bidder, a Peruvian developer who has done reclamation projects in other parts of the world.
The developer, Fernando Palazuelo of Lima, Peru, had bid $2,002,000. In an email to The Detroit News, Palazuelo said he is still interested in the site.
Palazuelo, the CEO of Arte Express, said he has bought, rehabilitated and leased 1.5 million square feet of dilapidated buildings in downtown Lima during the past six years.