Detroit Public Square: Critics' Picks
Best Pseudo-Upbeat Economic News in Detroit
Hantz Woodlands breaking ground on a new forest on the east side
Published: April 9, 2014
The proposal from a big-time businessman to plant an urban farm (or forest, as it turned out) on the east side drew tons of media support when John Hantz first pitched it. It was cast as an obvious choice for Detroit: The land wasn't even being used, supporters contended, so Hantz should be given a sweet deal at an insanely low cost, and right away — because, trees! Commentators hammered at City Council as a congregation of obstructionists hampering an innovative plan. Absent from this brouhaha was the merest suggestion that such a deal would benefit Hantz and his heirs immensely if, say, property values were to rise in the coming years. For now, the city can proudly point to acres of city land growing ... trees. As to whether giving large tracts of land over to the super-rich is a good idea ...