FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
ISN'T THE MICHIGAN LAND BANK'S SELECTION OF MAGIC PLUS LLC TO DEVELOP THE FAIRGROUNDS A DONE DEAL?
NO. The MLBA accepted the Magic Plus LLC bid to develop the Fairgrounds property in 2012, and signed Purchase and Development Agreements in 2013-14. But Magic Plus LLC is failing to honor the terms of the Development Agreement, which required a closing by Dec. 31, 2015.
Construction was due to begin Spring 2016. According to sources, Magic Plus LLC does not have the necessary investment capital to complete the deal. The MLBA has not granted an extension. The MLBA plans to make a final decision by March 21, 2018. In the meantime, the Fairgrounds remains a publicly owned property.
What will happen to the Fairgrounds if the land bank decides to terminate the agreements with Magic Plus LLC?
Mayor Mike Duggan at a Dec. 2017 Town Hall meeting announced that he’s in favor of re-opening the bidding process. The Michigan Land Bank suggested that could happen.
What is happening to the Fairgrounds property?
The State — with our taxpayer money — is paying $1 million/year for the cost of sewage, security and other costs associated with the Fairgrounds site. This potentially has cost the public some $8-plus million dollars. Magic Plus LLC, according to the Land Bank, will be held liable for a percentage of those costs, effective 2015.
is the fairgrounds advisory committee (FAC) still functioning?
NO. The FAC was included in the legislation signed by Gov. Snyder which transferred the site to the Land Bank “Fast Track” Authority back in 2012. Though the legislation mandated that the FAC would continue to function in its advisory capacity until 60 days after the transfer of the property to the developer, the FAC ceased to function in 2015.
why was the state fair closed?
Governor Jennifer Granholm declared in February, 2009 that the State could no longer afford it. Steve Jenkins, then State Fair Manager, strongly disagreed, stating in 2012 that the State Fair had been paying for itself.
The actual reason had much more to do with the State's business interests which, as far back as 1996, were calling for the State to "get out of the State Fair business." These interests, represented by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy ( a Koch brothers-funded think tank) wanted the land turned over to private, for profit, developers.