Detroit’s Packard Plant recently went up for auction, and the winner is a group led by Texas physician Dr. Jill Van Horn with a bid of just over $6 million. The press release sent on the occasion was described as “the most insane press release ever”. Some news coverage and the full text the PR missive follow below.
UPDATE 10/30/13: The Wayne County Treasurer’s Office has cancelled this bid, according to the Detroit Free Press. The second-place bidder is Chicago developer William Hults, and the third place bidder is Peruvian developer Fernando Palazuelo, both with bids of just over $2 million.
The Detroit News writes Statement from winning bidder on Packard Plant raises concern –
Wayne County officials expect to see money Wednesday from a Texas doctor who won a tax-foreclosure auction for the Packard Plant, but acknowledge they’re concerned about a statement released by her staff that likened Detroit’s potential to hydroelectric power.
“It is the process that allows us to transform the lake from a canoeing and fishing kind of place into an energy producing kind of place,” reads a three-page statement from Dr. Jill Van Horn’s staff that was released to the media on Tuesday. “Detroit’s assets, like energy, also have a dormant value.”
The Detroit Free Press says Packard Plant auction winners release bizarre statement, still haven’t paid –
Reached by phone Tuesday night, suburban Dallas family doctor Jill Van Horn said she and her investors have the $6 million that she bid for the property and she intended to come to Detroit to create jobs by investing in the site as a manufacturing plant.
She confirmed her group released the three-page statement Tuesday afternoon. The document, full of typos and titled “The Posential Energy in Detroits Assets,” contains nonsensical passages about her group’s plans for the plant and other vacant properties in Detroit. It mentions Van Horn’s “prophecy” to “resurrect Detroit.”
Does Texas Doc have $6M for Packard? Lots of red flags is the headline in Motor City Muckraker, and Deadline Detroit calls the news release a hot mess of weirdness.
A PDF of the press release comes from the Detroit Free Press, and there a copy on DocumentCloud from the Detroit News. The full text is below.
THE ENERGY IN DETROITS ASSETS
LED BY Dr. Jill Van Horn
Mark Day remarks to the Board:
“What is it that fixes the potential of the asset, so that it can put additional production into motion?”
What detaches value from a simple old plant such as Packard and fixes Detroiters to realize it as capital?
We can begin to finally answer by using an energy analogy that was put forth by Hernando Deesoto.
Consider Mountain Lake we can think about this lake in its immediate physical context and see come primary use for it such as canoeing and fishing.
But when we think about this same lake as an engineer would, by focusing on its capacity to generate energy as an additional value beyond the lakes natural state as a body of water. We suddenly see the potential created by the lakes elevated position. The challenge for the engineer, is the same challenge that all Detroiters face today, finding out how he can create a process that allows him to convert and fix this potential into a form that can be used to do additional work. IN the case of the elevated lake, that process is contained in a hydroelectric plant that allows the lake water to move rapidly downward with the force of gravity. Thereby transforming the placid lakes potential into the kinetic energy of tumbling water. This electric magnets that further convert into electrical energy.
As electricity, the potential energy of the Placid Lake is now fixed in the form necessary to produce controllable current that can be further transmitted through wire conductors in faraway places to display new production. Apparently Placid Lake can be used to light your room and power the machinery in a factory.
What was required was an external man made process that allowed us, first, to identify the weight of the water, second, convert this potential energy into electricity, which can then be used to create surplus value. The additional value we obtain form the lake I not the value of the lake itself, but rather the value of the manmade process intricate of the lake.
It is the process that allows us to transform the lake form a canoeing and fishing kind of place into an energy producing kind of place. Detroit’s assets, like energy, also have a dormant value.
Bringing them to life requires Detroiters to go beyond looking at the city’s asset as they are actively thinking about them as they could be.
It required a sophisticated process for fixing Detroit’s assets economical potential into a form that can be used to make additional production. Although the process to convert the potential energy in the water into electricity is well known. The one that gives Detroit’s assets the form required to put in motion. More production is not known, in other words while we know that it is the pin stop, turbaned, generators, transformers, and wires of the hydro-electric energy system, that convert the potential energy of the lake until it is fixed in a accessible form. We do not know where to find the key process that connects the economic potential of that Detroiters can benefit from.
This is because that key process has never been deliberately set up for Detroiters. Under the development plans that Jill Van Horn has co designed for Detroit. The city will develop through a variety of financial mechanisms that gradually will combine into a process that will churn out capital as never before.
Although the Japanese, Chinese and our financiers on Wall Street use their mechanisms all the time. Detroiters do not realize that none of the essential capital generating functions is being utilized in their area. Historically Detroiters used them as parts of the Banking and Financial system, but not as interlocking mechanism for fixing the economic potential of Detroit’s assets in such a way that they can be converted into capital for all Detroiters benefit.
This may sound complex, but consider the Penobscot building that sold for approximately
5 million dollars, but contains more than 1,000,000 square feet of luxurious office space. Then consider single family housing selling for $1,000.00 which contained more than 1,600 square feet. Then consider entire city block that are being sold for 100.00 a lot, further consider the millions of square feet in apartment buildings scattered throughout the city. Finally consider the fact that Detroit is in Bankruptcy and so is its sister city Hyland Park.
Now is not the time for native Detroiters to bicker over the price of the Packard Plant. Now is the time to form a coalition made of past and future developers in order to make a change in Detroit. Utilizing the private investors, the investment Bankers, Hedge Fund Lenders, International Bankers, and Faith Based Organizations located through the city to pull it up by its boot straps and make it whole again.
Dr Van Horn has assembled the investment Bankers, Hedge Fund Lenders, Private Investors and several Foundations, who intend to merge their financial resources with the local developers in Detroit, to transform the dormant capital the lies in every real estate parcel in the city of Detroit, into a fixed value of capital that will benefit all of the cities residence.
Prior to placing the bid on the Packard Plant, Dr. Van Horn’s prophecy was to resurrect Detroit by providing education, jobs and vocational training to the city’s residence, simultaneously unplugging the financial arteries of the city.
That decision was based on the gravity of the hour and the magnitude of potential jobs that the plant offers for the people of Detroit.
“Any intelligent foal can make things bigger, more complex and more violent. it takes a touch of genius– and a let of courage to move in the opposite direction.” Albert Einstein
Dr. Van Horn’s partners consist of all af the non–profit developers who elther own land or have designated development areas within the city. Furthermore, if the county doubts that we have the ability to perform, we challenge the caunty by stating at this time, Dr. Van Horn and her lenders, investors are prepared to travel fram Texas to Detroit and sit down with the county and make an offer for every vacant, abandoned and dilapidated apartment building within Detroit. Not only are we prepared to show that we have the ability to perform, but we are ready to perform.
if you have any questions or comments contact Davis Marshall (phone number redacted).