The city has rejected the "greens-to-graveyard" proposal for Rogell Golf Course in NW Detroit. The plan would've converted the 18 hole course into a 120-acre cemetery, ending Rogell's century-long history as one of the premier courses in Detroit. The city denied the proposal for various reasons, including the delightfully honest assessment that another giant cemetery "wouldn't be in the best interests of the city."
And the city should know. In 2007, it sold the course to Greater Grace Temple, a self-described megachurch , for just $2.1M. At the time, Greater Grace pastor Bishop Charles Ellis III promised an "excellent maintenance program," allowing Rogell Golf Course to "continue in the usage that it was originally designed for." You know a deal is totally legitimate when Kwame Kilpatrick and Robert Ficano throw a party to celebrate it.
It appears that the pastor's fondness for golf has declined. When a cemetery development company offered to buy the property last year, Ellis jumped at the chance, declaring that Greater Grace had intended to flip the property the entire time. "We were just holding the property," Ellis told the Detroit Free Press last year. "We're a church. I'm not trying to operate a golf course."
Those standing to profit from the cemetery vow to appeal the city's decision, hinting that Rogell Golf Course will not be reopened. The biggest head-scratcher, perhaps, is their proposed name: Memorial Park Renaissance Cemetery. What part of converting a respected golf course into a massive cemetery has anything to do with a renaissance?
· Golf Course or Graveyard, 120 Acres Holds a Lot of Bodies [Curbed]
· Detroit rejects plan to turn northwest side golf course into cemetery