Urban farming idea slowly sprouts in Detroit

City is close to signing deal with for-profit group to beautify neighborhoods, allow city to grow tax base

John Hantz has inched ahead with his plan to create a for-profit farm in Detroit, where profit’s often viewed as a dirty word.

But nature may be Hantz’s most effective advocate, as the city’s urban landscape reverts to primal weeds and decaying timbers.

City officials and Hantz both say they’re on the cusp of signing an agreement within the next two weeks. If City Council approves the deal, Hantz, a financial services magnate and Detroit resident, will buy about 200 acres of vacant land on the city’s east side, in an area surrounding Indian Village.

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