Packard Plant Foreclosure: County Plans To Seize Vacant Detroit Factory With $750,000 In Unpaid Back Taxes

Foreclosure isn't just a problem that affects struggling homeowners. Detroit's sprawling, vacant and frequently ablaze Packard Plant will be foreclosed on by Wayne County, the Detroit Free Press reports, after owner Bioresource neglected to pay $750,000 in back taxes.

Dominic Cristini is the purported owner of Bioresource, which has claim to nearly all of the 3.5 million sq. ft. of the Packard complex on East Grand Boulevard. Though he's battled in court for ownership in the past, at one point living in the plant in protest, Cristini may not fight the foreclosure.

“Do me a favor and knock the Packard down. I’m tired of it,” Cristini told Motor City Muckracker's Steve Neavling. "I don’t want to get killed over that building.”

“The city can kiss my ass,” Cristini also told the news site, stating he doesn't owe taxes since the city hadn't provided services to protect the property.

The structure is full of asbestos and though often on fire, is too dangerous for firefighters to enter. The city has previously called for its demolition. In March, Cristini said he had begun the estimated $6 million process, though evidence was hard to come by.

The county is currently in the process of notifying owners of more than 42,000 properties that are set to move into foreclosure.

If the Packard were to complete the foreclosure process, ownership would revert to the public. Detroit would be hard-pressed to come up with millions for demolition, but according to the Free Press, the city believes the owner is responsible for demolition and doesn't have current plans to do so because of the "prohibitive cost."

Designed by architect Albert Kahn in the early 1900s, the plant served as the Packard Motor Car Company until it closed in the 1950's, though other businesses used the building for decades after that. It's also a draw for vandals, artists and urban spelunkers.

See photos of the plant below, from its heyday to the buildings' current state of abandonment.

The Packard Plant In Detroit

Flickr photo by Slavin.