Turning Blight into Beauty in Detroit

Urban decay replaced with farmland

A conceptual image of the Hantz Farms in Detroit's East Side. Hantz Woodlands, a division of Hantz Group, paid around $520,000 for 150 acres of blighted land to create what will be the world's largest urban farm. (Photo: Courtesy of Hantz Group/Youtube)
hantz detroit farms

To reverse the downward spiral of Detroit’s East Side, a private company is tearing down a blighted neighborhood with plans of putting a large-scale urban farm in its place.

Hantz Woodlands paid around $520,000 for 150 acres encompassing more than 1,000 vacant, abandoned homes in Motor City. The first houses were demolished last week, and the first trees are expected to be planted this winter.

"Your eyes would have a hard time absorbing the blight," Mike Score, president of Hantz Farms, told Fox News, “A third of every neighborhood in Detroit has been devalued by blight on public property.”

In a statement John Hantz, CEO of Hantz Farms, said: “Hantz Farms will transform this area into a viable, beautiful and sustainable area that will serve the community, increase the tax base, create jobs and greatly improve the quality of life in an area that has experienced a severe decline in population.”

If successful, Hantz Farms will be the world's largest urban farm. Hantz Group plans to spend $3 million to clear out the area. It’s already began leveling 15 acres to plant 15,000 trees this winter and orchards in the imediate future. Eventually, Hantz plans on planting crops and even raising livestock to regrow a city by its roots.


Hantz president on reinvigorating Detroit's blighted neighborhoods with farms

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.
Contribute to Outside
Filed To: News
Lead Photo: Courtesy of Hantz Group/Youtube
More Adventure