(WXYZ) - Fernando Palazuelo, the man who bought the old Packard Plant in Detroit, says developing real estates is like war - you have to know going in if your plan to win or lose is going to work.
And for him, there's no such thing as defeat. So, while many people questioned the wisdom of buying the long neglected property, he thinks he has the perfect vision to make it work.
Palazuelo says he would like to turn the 40 acre property that he bought for $400,000 into the "perfect town" and he wants to do it by using what's already there.
Palazuelo has studied the property and says that, while the complex is blighted, the buildings are still strong. He says the buildings deserve to be saved because of their history.
“Everything that has to do with the history, the columns and the old windows and that, they belong to the history,” he says.
As for why he would take the risk and come to Detroit, Palazuelo says he's already been captured by our city.
“I am already a citizen of Detroit,” he says. “I can be useful, you know, by buying property here and converting them.“
Palazuelo's plan is to convert the Packard plant into a rental property. He needs $400 million in financing for what, he says, could be a 15 year long project. But, in the end, he hopes to attract clients like Amazon and Google.
Palazuelo, who has been in Detroit for a year, has already gotten to work.
He's worked for six months to cut through the red tape and take ownership of the property. He also worked with city council to get permits for cleanup and started talks with scrappers to get them to stop hitting his buildings.
He says he can give them a better deal then they get by selling scrap metal "for such a little money. I’m able to give them 10 times more under a contract. Be proud of their work and be on the team.”
He's also paying taxes to the city on the property, the first time in 20 years the Detroit is making money off the Packard Plant.
WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW IN THE VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE.