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State Fairgrounds are Magic Johnson's Fairgrounds Now

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Say goodbye to the Michigan State Fairgrounds. The vacant 157-acre site is now firmly in the clutches of Magic Plus LLC, the group fronted by Magic Johnson. Many are not happy. The group's plan—an uninspired tangle of parking lots, big box retail, and low-rise housing—has given many the impression that the project is a waste of all that acreage, especially considering that the property is being transferred for free (though "possible" payments in the future are mentioned.) It even inspired a whimsical, agriculture-based alternative plan with far more exciting renderings.

As if the project didn't already have enough doubters, advocacy group MichiganNow seems to have verified that Joel Ferguson—Magic's partner and mentor—counts a drug house near the North End among his many investments. The plans aren't yet set in stone, but the number of red flags already raised by this development makes it hard to feel optimistic.

· Fairgrounds site transferred to Magic Johnson development team [Freep]