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Old 01-03-2017, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,784 posts, read 65,753,528 times
Reputation: 32993

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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.
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Old 01-03-2017, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Here.
14,596 posts, read 13,333,380 times
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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!
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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.
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Old 01-03-2017, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Here.
14,596 posts, read 13,333,380 times
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Haha! Coldjensens, you know your stuff.
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Old 01-04-2017, 12:43 AM
 
Location: Detroit
3,671 posts, read 4,815,281 times
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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.
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