Monday, December 17, 2012
Detroit has taken a unique and aggresive approach to address the plague of vacant and abandoned property within its borders. Last week, the city council agreed to sell 140 acres on the east side of town (1,500 city-owned plots) to John Hantz, an urban agriculture entrepreneur. Opponents worry that Hantz got a sweatheart deal that will crowd out other, smaller urban agriculturalists:
Despite strong opposition from a coalition of urban farmers, community activists and local residents, Detroit City Council Tuesday approved the controversial Hantz Woodlands land deal. Under the proposed agreement, the city will sell roughly 140 acres the land to Hantz Woodlands, a division of the Hantz Farms, at slightly over 8 cents per square foot, provided they maintain the land, demolish a number of derelict buildings and plant 15,000 trees.