Detroit to seek bids for Packard Plant demolition

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

The city of Detroit will begin to seek contractor bids to demolish buildings on the Packard Plant site, weeks after its owner ignored a court order to pull permits, officials said Wednesday. 

The city’s demolition department completed a scope of work Tuesday for the buildings Fernando Palazuelo owns on the former plant site, John Roach, the mayor’s spokesman said Wednesday. 

The assessment looked at “the most unstable and dangerous parts of the buildings north of Grand Boulevard,” Roach said in an email to The Detroit News.

In March, Wayne County Circuit Judge Brian Sullivan ordered that Palazuelo, a Peruvian developer, immediately raze the site and foot the bill after his attorney missed a March 24 trial date. The city seeks demolition because it considers the location a “public nuisance.”

In the default judgment, Sullivan said structures on the two 2-acre sites on Detroit's east side have become “dangerous” and significantly threaten “the public's health, safety and welfare.” He held Palazuelo “personally liable for the abatement of the public nuisance.”

Following the ruling, Palazuelo missed the court-ordered deadline April 21 to apply for a demolition permit with the Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department. He had not filed for a permit as of Wednesday, according to the city.

Sullivan empowered the city of Detroit to enter the two properties and perform demolition and “other necessary actions to abate the nuisance.” Palazuelo would be expected to reimburse the city for the demolition costs.

Meanwhile, the city recently put out a request for bids on a portion of a 100,000-square-foot property it owns south of Grand Boulevard, Roach said. Those bids are due back by June 1. 

During his state of the city address in March, Mayor Mike Duggan said the front portion of the city-owned building along the south side of Grand would be preserved for redevelopment.

In 2017, Palazuelo broke ground on a plan to redevelop the Packard site into a mixed-use site and that would cost $350 million and take up to 15 years to complete. The plan never materialized. Real estate services firm Newmark recently said it continues to market the property to developers.

Twitter: @CWilliams_DN