New owners shares plans for Packard Plant despite still owing ta - KMSP-TV

New owners shares plans for Packard Plant despite still owing taxes

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DETROIT (WJBK) -  The owner of Detroit's largest crumbling structure says he has big plans for the historical Packard Plant.

"To create a whole complex for young people, artists, school, recreational, commercial - I mean, everything fits together," says Fernando Palazuelo.

Wednesday evening he discussed new signs he says will be put up early next week. Palazuelo tells Fox 2 he plans to clean it up, open offices and move in himself before winter.

"We are going to start by converting the bridge over Grand Boulevard and Concord. ... We will convert the old headquarters of the Packard Plant Corporation into our offices," he says.

But Palazuelo, who purchased the former automotive hub back in December for $405,000 is said to owe roughly $90,000 in property taxes.

Wayne County Deputy Treasurer David Szymanski says Wednesday the county is simply responsible for collecting the taxes owed and Palazuelo, upon purchasing the property, took on those taxes for 2013, taxes based on the city's assessment of the property's value.

"My lawyers are taking care of this with Wayne County since January," Palazuelo says.

The county, filing suit on 22,000 properties in the city last week, says a 30-day notice will be sent to Palazuelo next week and if he doesn't pay or an agreement isn't reached, an order will be issued to return the 40-acre property.

"I'm sure that they will get an agreement, final agreement, in the next week. This will be paid, I don't know if 90,000 [dollars] or 75,000 [dollars]," Palazuelo says.

Palazuelo admits to filing for bankruptcy before, and admits still owing millions on some of his other 22 properties in Peru and Spain, but he is confident this will be straightened out. Palazuelo says his plans for Detroit over the next 10 years are grand and will be starting soon.

"We are working with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra to have, before the winter, a little concert at the Packard Plant - on the ruins, which is going to be a contrast - and then a big concert next year once the winter is over," Palazuelo says.

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