The parent company for Hantz Farms, The Hantz Group, a company not based in Detroit, reportedly has made profits within the financial services industry profiting from the very items that nearly bankrupt the country over the past four years. This makes sense then for the development proposal within the city of Detroit that does not force or mandate any actual development.
This deal is about pure speculation in an area of the city that is easiest to turnaround a real-estate profit that could be worth more than ten times the initial investment. This is a pure investment by Hantz. This is not a community beautification effort. This is not corporate good will. This is not about farming. This is about making a profit at the expense of the citizens of Detroit.
The method being used by the city and the Hantz Group is a long time method used for gentrification. The local government will transfer land into private ownership thereby restricting anyone from being able buy or make plans for the land. There are even additional restrictions on land not owned by Hantz that prevent anyone but Hantz from buying the property. This leaves the property in city ownership but restricted to Hantz. This is an exclusive deal that is excluded to all others.
The area included in the boundary is depressed until the remaining residents leave. This is being accomplished with assistance by the mayor who has said he plans to eliminate city services to parts of the city. Once this area is gentrified the developer builds new to cater the target audience where the developer can also make a huge profit. This process will occur over a five to ten year period. This fits into the timeline when the housing boom in Detroit should commence and many residents will have forgotten about this issue.
The remaining obstacle is how does Hantz pay the property taxes over this time period since these residential lots will not be a source of income? Will the land bank shelter this property as it has sheltered other privately owned property in the downtown area?