We've been over it several times this summer: Detroit just does not want to trust John Hantz when he says the reason he is buying land from the city is for an urban farm. For a while it was just a bunch of people that suspected a "land grab," but then there was the whole Moveon.org bunk about ties to a pesticide superpower.
Finally someone uses logic to defend Hantz, pointing out, "hey, dude has spent three years working on this and it has not been easy. Maybe he is serious."
There are still some folks in the city who persist in believing that Hantz has ulterior motives, that his years of working to build a farm are a smokescreen for a secret plan to build a factory or a luxury condo development – or something even worse. If I were John Hantz, and I wanted to build a factory or a condo development, I'd call the Detroit Economic Growth Corp., present my bona fides, and follow standard protocol to get my plans approved.
What I wouldn't do is spend three years trying to build a farm.
There you have it. We may not understand why the rich spend money the way they do, but there is a long history of blowing money on dumb hobbies that are amusing, cute, and not meant to be profitable. Pure-bred dog breeding, anyone? If he wants this to be his little pet-project, why the hell not?
· MoveOn.org Sent Out Misleading Emails About Hantz Farms [Curbed Detroit]
· John Hantz to WSJ: Detroit Could Do Every Idea I've Ever Heard Of and Still Have Plenty of Empty Land Left [Curbed Detroit]
· Hantz Farm Proposal Continues to Make Detroit Suspicious [Curbed Detroit]