Detroit seems to be on the upswing. The Lions are 5-3. The Tigers almost made it to the World Series. And now, the debt-trodden Motor City will be getting a 140-acre forest smack in the middle of it to spruce up the place.
Hantz Farms, a venture of financier John Hantz, purchased more than 1,500 vacant city-owned lots on the lower east side in an attempt to stimulate the economy. He has committed to clearing 50 derelict structures, cleaning up garbage, planting 15,000 trees, and mowing regularly. Planting will begin next fall, and the urban forest will be called Hantz Woodlands, according to TheAtlanticCities.com.
Other than the burst of green splendor, Hantz believes this will help the city's financial woes by creating a scarcity of land, thus giving real estate a bump.
"We need to create scarcity, because until we get a stabilized market, there's no reason for entrepreneurs or other people to start buying," he told The Atlantic. "I thought, 'What could do that in a positive way? What's a development that people would want to be associated with?' And that's when I came up with a farm."
Building the forest could be even more beneficial than expected. First of all, construction will create jobs, and there's also the hope for commercialization (in a good way). Developers are considering orchards, maple syrup, and ornamental plants and shrubbery as possible commodities. Plus, it's also a great new route to walk the dog.
This greener, fresher movement seems to be happening all around Detroit. Even Whole Foods came to the neighborhood in June; you know it's getting better!