Meet Jill Van Horn, the Ennis Doctor Who Punked the Entire City of Detroit

Categories: Biz

PackardAutomotivePlant.jpg
Albert duce
The Packard Automotive Plant stands as an emblem of modern Detroit. Once the thrumming embodiment of industrial might, it's now a hulking, weed-choked ruin, a tangible symbol of a city in decline.

It wasn't without some trepidation that Wayne County, Michigan officials put the plant's 40 acres up for auction earlier this year after its owners failed to make good on a $975,000 property tax bill. Would some civic-minded developer emerge to snatch it up as a bargain? Or would everyone be scared of by the unmistakable stench of decay?

To everyone's delight, it turned out to be the latter. A Texas woman named Jill Van Horn emerged victorious after a heated bidding war, her $6 million offer besting her rivals, and she soon announced plans to manufacture modular homes and offices.

It quickly became clear to officials and observers alike, however, that there was great cause for concern. Van Horn is a family physician in Ennis with no apparent experience in manufacturing or development, nor does she have any evident connection to Detroit. An alarming number of her Facebook photos feature cats.

JillVanHornFB.jpg
Facebook

When a reporter with the Detroit News reached her husband following the sale, George Van Horn said the bid was "not right" and hung up, but texted later to say that it was, in fact, correct.

When the Van Horns finally released an official statement on Monday headlined "THE POSENTIAL ENERGY IN DETROITS ASSETS," it did little to allay concerns, because it was nonsense

What detaches value from a simple old plant such as Packard and fixes Detroiters to realize its 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 tranforming the placid lakes potential into kinetic energy of tumbling water. The electric magnets that further convert into electrical energy.

In case you're wondering, there's no lake at the Packard site. Van Horn is using this imagined "Placid Lake" as an extended metaphor for the type of visionary thinking that's needed to fix Detroit. Luckily for the city, Jill Van Horn is that visionary.

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 transorm the dorman capital the lies in every real estate parcel in the city of Detroit, into a fixed value of capital that will beneefit 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.

Despite her impressive coalition of partners, Van Horn missed a Wednesday deadline to make a partial payment of $2 million on the property. Van Horn reportedly called to request a two-week extension of the deadline, but David Szymanski, Wayne County's chief deputy treasurer, told the Detroit Free Press, "We're not comfortable waiting that long." His office canceled the sale.

It's a shame, too, because Van Horn had a vision not just for the Packard plant but for the entire city of Detroit.

"Dr. Van Horn and her lenders, investors are prepared to travel from Texas to Detroit and sit down with the county and make an offer for every vacant, abandoned and dilapidated apartment building within Detroit," the statement said. "Not only are we prepared to show that we have the ability to perform, but we are ready to perform."

Now, they won't get the chance.

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41 comments
derrick.mains
derrick.mains

I bet if she was a democrat they would vote her their mayor. 

Techgeek
Techgeek

Its amusing to see people rather judge a book by its cover now then actually reading it. How about you give the doc a chance. Practically anyone can buy a property nowadays and turn it into rental space. How about waiting before plotting such attack on the person who is attempting to make a change. Man people never learn from history. No wonder why the internet is the most common place of drama.....

ruddski
ruddski

Punking Detroit, with its 50% illiteracy rate, should be fairly easy.

Obummer
Obummer

Yo she's destined for greatness...following the lead of our President.

mcdallas
mcdallas

Schutze will made a Dallas/Detroit linkage story in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

Somebody wants her own reality show or at least to make the rounds of all the interview shows.

Gotta do stupid things to get attention in this world.

lebowski300
lebowski300

former, latter, whatever. #noeditors

PerryMoore
PerryMoore

Well, land is always worth something, but the buildings would cost more to bring into federal compliance (or even to tear down) than the initial investment. Looks like one of those renovation dreams that died with the enactment of current abatement and accessibility laws. The eventual owner would be better off to use it for a giant litter box. Hmm...maybe that's what the doc really had in mind.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

This is Wayne County's problem.  For an auction of this size they should have required potential bidders to have registered and be able to provide  financial assurance for their potential bid.

weirdozmedia
weirdozmedia

I'm hoping for their sake that they used some kind of voice-to-text input device.. they still should've proofread it if so, though.

James080
James080 topcommenter

Judging from that official release, I would venture that Van Horn is a former Miss America contestant.

whocareswhatithink
whocareswhatithink

Her facebook page says she lives in Redding, CA and grew up and went to college in PA....but she did attend UNT Osteopathic Medicine back in the early 2000's. Tight stretch linking her to Texas.

fracquestions
fracquestions

I question how one so obviously illiterate in the English language could have become a doctor ... unless she got her license from a Crackerjacks box.

bryanr01
bryanr01

I can haz Babelfish talky?

ruddski
ruddski

"An alarming number of her Facebook photos feature cats."

There's your tip-off.

observist
observist topcommenter

I think this kind of behavior it typically treated with lithium.

NotMe
NotMe

Six million? I hope the lead and toxic chemical remediation of the site was included. The second biggest obstacle to a Detroit comeback, after decades of a feckless, disastrous national industrial policy, is environmental. Who wants to live or work on top of lead, industrial chemicals, and asbestos? More importantly, who wants to pay to clean it all up? Given the rich history of Detroit, it's sad that if you want to re-develop there, you apparently have to be crazy.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

Good god, even the writers for the Dallas Observer don't write with as many spelling or grammatical errors as that official statement. It's like Eric Nicholson wrote it after a 6 pack and a fifth of Jameson.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

God I hope a PR firm didnt actually write or release that.    Even the bat shit crazies here write more coherently than that

ryan762
ryan762

@ruddski That rambling press release was hardly literate itself.

Ahoy
Ahoy

@techex well, at least THAT stands to reason.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

Not such a stretch since she live in Ennis, oh ya...that was in the headline.

weirdozmedia
weirdozmedia

@fracquestions I've known a hot doctor like that, she didn't make her way through medical school by studying..

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@ruddski bat shit crazy cat women, seems to fit the bill around here.  She should come post here

fracquestions
fracquestions

@weirdozmedia @fracquestions Probably the same in this case. That woman just sounds completely illiterate. It is telling that the deadline for making the initial payment arrived and she did not have her funding secured and a check ready to deliver.

The story says that she will not now get the chance to pick up those properties. One can only hope that is true because this smells like a fraud of the highest order by somebody looking to get rich off the assets of others.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Now, now.  I bet you two absolutely adore pussy cats.

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