“I Rolled the Dice, But It Didn’t Work Out”

The New York Times, Business Day, Friday, November 22, 2013

Derelict in Detroit, and Hard to Sell, by Bill Vlasic

“Two Deals to Buy Packard Pland Fall Through, Underscoring Decline:

Detroit–It is the ultimate abandoned building in the city that has become America’s unofficial capital of blight.  For decades, the ruins of the Packard Motor Car plant–a collection of more than 40 crumbling buildings that make up a ghost town of graffiti and garbage and rubble–have been a symbol of Detroit’s decay and a stubborn obstacle to the revitalization of its surrounding, and tattered, east side neighborhoods.

Now with the city awaiting court approval of the biggest municipal bankruptcy in history, the decrepit plant, often referred simply as the Packard, has somehow become a hot commodity of would-be developers from as far away as South America.

Or has it? In a public auction process that has lasted months, six investment groups have bid to buy the 40-acre Packard site out of foreclosure.  The two highest bidders have already dropped out for lack of money. Now the prospects for an eventual sale are murky at best.”

William Hults, who tried twice to buy the plant, could not raise the money.  ‘I rolled the dice,’ but it just didn’t work out,’ he said.”

Gamblers roll dice, but so do other bidders, such as Mr. Hults.  He was hoping to win the bid for the Packard Plant in Detroit, but it didn’t work out.



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