Not too many Americans are upbeat about the fate and future of Detroit these days. The largest American city to ever go bankrupt, Detroit is considering selling its vast art collections, selling off massive tracks of uninhabited land at dirt cheap prices, and taking other drastic measures to make ends meet. Recently, the city sold off the famed Packard Plant for a mere $405,000 dollars to Fernando Palazuelo. The once massive plant is among the largest manufacturing facilities ever built, but has not produced a car since 1956. Mr. Palazuelo has come on record claiming that Detroit stands a great chance of experiencing a revival.
Detroit’s redevelopment effort
Fernando Palazuelo, a Spaniard, is a well-known property developer who has helped drive the development of Peru, the country he currently calls home. While many Americans remain downbeat on Detroit, Mr. Palazuelo believes that the city could eventually rebound. Indeed, Mr. Palazuelo has already stated that he plans to lead a $350 million dollar city-wide redevelopment effort. Mr. Palazuelo has also stated that he plans to live at the Packard site once development is under way.
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The Packard Plant was built back in 1903 and at the time was the most advanced manufacturing facility in the world. Originally, the plant operated was by the Packard Automotive Company, which went defunct in 1958. When Packard went under, the plant stopped producing cars but other companies occupied at least portions of the industrial site all the way up until the early 2000’s.
Palazuelo sees site as a great opportunity
Since being abandoned, the industrial ruin has become a symbol of the city’s decay. It has also become a haven for criminals, graffiti artists, and the homeless. Mr. Palazuelo has stated that it is the largest industrial ruin of the 20th century, but believes that its history, size, and location makes it the perfect place to begin redeveloping Detroit.
Mr. Palazuelo’s vision includes a little bit of everything, including office space, manufacturing space for auto suppliers, lofts, and even a go-cart track. The developer even claims that the Packard site offers the best opportunity for investment in the world. While the site’s redevelopment will prove to be nothing short of daunting, Mr. Palazuelo has successfully lead developments in both Spain and Peru.
Mr. Palazuelo claims that he new nothing about the city or the Packard site until this past summer when he saw Detroit making headlines after its bankruptcy. After studying up on the situation, he became convinced that there were opportunities for investment. Now, Mr. Palazuelo has put his money where his mouth is and has decided to take on one of the biggest development projects in the city.