Last month, we asked if the State Fairgrounds redevelopment would gain momentum this year. Yes, yes it will.
The Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority Board of Directors agreed to a proposal from the City of Detroit to purchase 142 acres of the site for $7 million. Developer Magic Plus, LLC—who’s had the land for years—will get 16 acres primarily along Woodward Avenue near the Transit Center and at State Fair Avenue.
“The historic State Fairgrounds is an important site for residents, the City of Detroit and the entire region,” said Josh Burgett, director of the Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority. “All parties involved have worked hard to bring redevelopment to the site and this public/private agreement is marrying two visions for the State Fairgrounds to create jobs and provide commercial destinations for those new employees and current residents.”
City Council will need to approve the purchase. Environmental reviews will also need to take place. The city could have full ownership this summer.
The city sees this as an opportunity for both job development and neighborhood stabilization.
A community group called the State Fairgrounds Development Coalition has advocated for a community-led green development at the massive site for years. The land sits at the northern border of the city, with areas along both Woodward Avenue and 8 Mile. The group called for a transit-oriented development with green infrastructure, while Magic Plus LLC had proposed a basic, large mixed-use (and still car dependent) development.
The city is expected to issue RFPs for redevelopment of the property later this year.