Detroiters who want to speak their minds on the proposed Hantz Woodlands land sale will have an opportunity to do so next month at a public hearing sponsored by Detroit City Council.
The proposal involves roughly 140 acres of city-owned land on the city's east side -- scattered over nearly 1,500 parcels located between Van Dyke and St. Jean Street and Jefferson and Mack Avenue. If approved, it would be the largest speculative land deal in the Detroit's history.
The hearing will be held at East Lake Baptist Church, located at 12400 East Jefferson Ave. in Detroit on Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. It's scheduled to take place one day before a special session where council members will formally consider the matter.
Hantz Woodlands is one of several companies owned by financial services magnate John Hantz, a longtime Detroit resident. The businessman is seeking to transform the area into a mixed hardwoods timber farm, pending the approval of a city urban agriculture ordinance. Representatives of Hantz Woodlands have also indicated a willingness to purchase and maintain the land, simply in order to make the area more livable.
Opponents of the deal have referred to it as a land grab and have criticized the city for a lack of transparency in its negotiations with the company.