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Fairgrounds redevelopment plans worry Detroit neighbors

Spotlight on the News: Campaign to Promote the Vote & the Future of the-Mi State Fairgrounds



Development in Detroit’s Downtown and Midtown is front and center, but what about Uptown? What is its future? What role can the development of the site of the historic annual State Fair at the Michigan State Fairgrounds play? And, why should we care?

Even prior to 2009, when Gov. Jennifer Granholm axed the State Fair, Michiganders had been concerned about its future. Her action was a precursor to its devised privatization when Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill in 2012 transferring the 160-acre site at Woodward and 8 Mile Road into the Michigan Land Bank "Fast Track" Authority (MLBA).  Usually, with such a significant parcel of land for development, more time would be designated for outreach to the community and for developers to submit proposals. However,  with lightening speed, the land was awarded to Lansing developer Joel Ferguson and Greektown Casino's Marvin Beatty (partners of Magic Plus, LLC ) to develop a suburban style "power center" with big box stores, a theater complex, and a sea of parking lots. Is this what we need for the 21st Century? 


Unable to halt the closure of the Fair with a 55,000 signature petition, grassroots activists surveyed their communities and, with the assistance of landscape architects and architects, crystallized the response into a comprehensive METAexpo Concept.  The activists coalesced to form the State Fairgrounds Development Coalition (SFDC)and forwarded its design vision to the Governor in November 2012 — concurrent with the MLBA's selection of Magic Plus LLC. 

In the six years since, support for METAexpo has grown, including the Michigan Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, non-profits, community organizations and many others. Meanwhile, Magic Plus LLC has yet to assemble the capital committed as part of the Development Agreement, while we, the taxpayers, continue to pay millions of dollars for the site's upkeep. Impatient with the ongoing delays by the developers, the MLBA announced late 2017 that it will make a decision by March 2018 that will dramatically impact the future of the site. Please navigate this site to learn about the growing movement for a 21st Century development at the Gateway to Detroit and its future

  1. Mixed-use retail/ Commercial/ Residential
  2. Multi-Flex/Expo Auditorium
  3.  Garden Court/ Community College
  4. Community Tech Lab
  5. Grant House and Museum
  6. Power Station Night Club
  7. The Coliseum and Expo Halls
  8. The Expo Arcade
  9. Meta-tech Campus - Public Institution/Private Sector
  10. METAexpo Energy Plant
  11. The Geo Field
  12. Hotel
  13. Residential Tower/ Seniors
  14. Town Homes
  15. Town Homes/ Retail
  16. Green Tech/ AG High School
  17. Middle School
  18. BRT/ Light Rail Station
  19. Regional Bus Station
  20. Smart House and Smart Park
  21. Market Park
  22. Green Infrastructure Landscape
  23. Low Impact Development (LID)
  24. Water Management
  25. P Parking Deck w/ Greenhouse or Green Roof