Magic Plus LLC has closed on the acquisition of the former Michigan State Fairgrounds property on Detroit’s Woodward Avenue.
The fairgrounds have stood vacant for almost 10 years, costing taxpayers $1 million a year to maintain the property. But in March 2018, the board of the Michigan Land Bank approved the sale of a 16-acre parcel to Magic Plus, which includes former NBA and Michigan State star Magic Johnson among its investors. The remaining 142 acres will go to the city of Detroit.
“I’m proud of the collaborative work we’ve done with Magic Plus and the City of Detroit to bring new jobs and economic opportunities to the community,” Michigan Land Bank Director Josh Burgett said in a statement. “The State Fairgrounds is one of the largest developable properties in Detroit and we’re excited for the economic prosperity this brings to their community and Michigan taxpayers.”
Magic Plus has plans to develop the Woodward Avenue frontage in a comprehensive development project.
“I am pleased to announce the purchase of 16 acres for a mixed-use development, at the historic site of the former Michigan State Fairgrounds," Magic Plus principal and Lansing developer Joel Ferguson said in a statement. "With the development of this property, we are excited to be a part of Detroit’s continued economic renaissance and community revitalization."
The site hosted the Michigan State Fair from 1905 until 2009. The property was transferred to the Michigan Land Bank in 2012. The Land Bank has spent the past year working with the city and Magic Plus to bring redevelopment to the site.
“We are pleased to see this deal with Magic Plus close, as it paves the way for the redevelopment of this strategically located Woodward Avenue property. We also look forward to closing on the city's purchase of the other 142 acres of the State Fairgrounds property in the next several weeks,” City of Detroit Group Executive for Jobs and Economic Growth Thomas Lewand said in a statement.