Turning Blight into Beauty in Detroit
Urban decay replaced with farmland
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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