U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Michigan > Detroit
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
Old 01-03-2017, 08:54 AM
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,784 posts, read 65,753,528 times
Reputation: 32993


There are places where you could buy several acres where there used to be homes or businesses. A lot of Del Rey is like that.

However if you are thinking of being right in the city ie. downtown/midtown, no you are not going to find that. First that property is being snapped up by Dan Gilbert, Illich and copycat investors/developers. Second there is almost no contiguous vacant property in or adjacent to midtown or downtown. what there is, is mostly owned by developers who are working on plans and financing, or by investors looking to make a big profit ont he property.

The cost per acre for farming it would be astronomical in comparison to the price for readily available farmland an hour or slightly more outside the city. Those properties are filled with foundations, rubble, trash, pipes, wires, vaults, driveways, fence posts, and other things that need to be removed for farming. In some locations, you might have to deal with toxic waste removal as well (although that is a lot rarer than many people seem to think).

Tearing down a small old factory is going to cost $1- $3 million, sometimes more. Not real practical unless you have a specific plan to make the property generate a lot of money. Even if the factory or other buildings have been reduced to rubble, the cost to clean up the mess is significant. You could buy a skid steer with some attachments and a truck and do it yourself, but it woudl take at least a year, and still be pretty costly.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 01-03-2017, 10:13 AM
Location: Here.
14,596 posts, read 13,333,380 times
Reputation: 17090
Good points, CJ. If I were to have a farm, it would be mostly orchard, maybe some lumber trees like oak, maple, walnut, etc. Have grazing animals: goats, horses, maybe a cow, etc. Definitely some flowers.

Wonder what ever happened to Hantz Farms. I went by one of their sites a few years ago and it was a mess. Few of the trees were still growing.

Edit: Looks like they are still at it: http://www.hantzfarmsdetroit.com Free labor too!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-03-2017, 02:46 PM
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,784 posts, read 65,753,528 times
Reputation: 32993
They are a cute concept,but not really practical. The cost per acre for clean up, security, water, etc. will be many times the cost of farmland with a water source. Many of those "urban farms" came in to ride the wave, get some tax breaks or other government money, sell the thing off to someone else and get out of town before it fails.

We will all be dead, before oak and maple saplings become lumber trees. Many will die. Deer will eat them, or rub the bark off. Disease will take some, or all unless they are treated (and maybe even if they are). They will require constant watering for a year or so. Where to they get money to sustain their operations for the years or decades before they see any returns?

Even apples or nuts take many years before they produce anything significant.

I am not sure how they would keep people form just taking their fruits and nuts anyway.

They ought to grow Christmas trees. They grow fast.

They talk about how valuable the trees are, and also talk about how nice they look, but they have to cut them down to get any financial return from them.

We are going to build a beautiful park - and then cut it down?

So what are they living on? Government money/grants no doubt. There is little likelihood they have sufficient donations to sustain this project.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-03-2017, 05:36 PM
Location: Here.
14,596 posts, read 13,333,380 times
Reputation: 17090
Haha! Coldjensens, you know your stuff.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-04-2017, 12:43 AM
Location: Detroit
3,671 posts, read 4,815,281 times
Reputation: 2629
Like some other posters said, it just isn't going to happen. If you have ever been to Detroit you would probably realize contrary to click bait media Detroit isn't anything close to being a rural like ghost town. But I disagree about Detroit being empty by big city standards because Detroit is still more densely populated than a little over half of the top 30 cities in the U.S. Geo-Aggie just happened to mention the neighborhood I grew up in, Ravendale, which was hit hard by the great recession and has alot less residents than when I was a kid, is still more densely populated than most newer big cities. Even Brightmoor, a neighborhood that has dozens of large swaths of vacant land has a population density around the same as EVERY MAJOR CITY IN TEXAS.

Your best bet would be to buy land where some of these old factories are, tear them down and build your dream house. And then get bought out by some rich developer who will make blocks of apartments/ townhouses with your 5 acres now that you cleared the space with your own money.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Michigan > Detroit
View detailed profiles of:
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:42 AM.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top