Headquarters near 17403 Mt. Elliott on the east side. Starting as early as 2009, Hantz Farms has evolved its farm multiple times, generating controversy with each move. 

Early plans

Hantz Farms started out as a proposal to cultivate 20,000 acres. It later morphed into a Christmas Tree farm as it became clear that local and state law would make urban cultiviation on a large scale difficult. There also was a short-term plan to plant 3.5 acres with 1,000 oak saplings as of August 2011.

2012 tree farm plans

Facing a lack of proper zoning and more obstacles, Hantz changed the proposal to be a 140-acre tree farm. Hantz is still agreeing to clean and maintain the lots, as well as demolish houses. The Detroit community has been divided about this new proposal, with community development corporations facing off against food justice groups. Several loud, anger-filled community meetings have been held. Opponents are using the #hantzoff Twitter hashtag. 


Proponents of the 2012 Hantz Farms proposals argue that the project will bring unused land back on the tax rolls. They also say that several other investors (notably Dan Gilbert) and less reputable speculators have bought large swathes of land in Detroit without this level of public outcry. 

A number of groups support the project:


Opponents of the proposals argue that the project has a number of downsides and that the sale of so much land to one individual violates the public trust. They say that residents haven't been offered a chance to buy the land themselves. Some have, through the City's adjacent lot program, but not on a large scale. They also note that there is not a formal development agreement with community benefits. They dislike commercial agriculture practices, like toxic pesticides. They also are skeptical that Hantz will use the land for a tree farm, and not some more nefarious purpose in the future -- which could include displacing residents. 

Opposing groups include


See also