Detroit City Council set to vote on biggest land sale in city's history

DETROIT (WXYZ) - City council is set to vote on Tuesday on what could be Detroit's biggest land sale in history.

The city is prepared to unload 1,600 parcels of land to a company called Hantz Farms. The company has agreed to plant 15,000 trees and pay property taxes on the lot.

Ultimately sources say Hantz Farms may try to get the area zoned for commercial farming in order to make money on the investment.

Although a spokesperson for Detroit's Planning and Development department says there are risks associated with such a huge deal, it's an agreement they believe will ultimately benefit the city.

"As part of this agreement we not only gain tax revenue, the buyer is also agreeing to clear blight," said Karla Henderson, Director of Planning Development for Detroit.

The parcels are concentrated on the east side in the area of Jefferson and Mack to St. Jean and Van Dyke.

The total price for the deal is $520,000.

Action News spoke with one long-time resident of the area, Edith Floyd. She's called Mt. Olivet and Van Dyke home for 40 years. She plants crops and gardens in the vacant, city-owned lots next to her home. She's just hoping she gets a chance to buy the lot before Hantz Farms gobbles it up.

"I've worked hard on this space. This is part of my home," Floyd said.

Councilwoman Saunteel Jenkins says residents like Floyd will be protected. Jenkins says before the final deal is done residents living next to abandoned city-owned lots will have an opportunity to purchase the land before Hantz Farms – at a lower price.

Council will vote on the deal sometime Tuesday.

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