Sale of state fairgrounds site for Amazon project expected to close soon after judge halts restraining order

The city of Detroit’s sale of the former Michigan State Fairgrounds property for an Amazon project is expected to close in the next few days after a Michigan appeals court judge struck down an order that temporarily halted the deal last week.

The back-and-forth battle over the pivotal site’s fate came through a lawsuit that a community group filed over the proposed deal between the city and developers to build out a $400 million facility with Amazon.com Inc. as tenant.

The State Fairgrounds Development Coalition, which was seeking a publicly usable redevelopment of the site, has railed against the Amazon deal and sued the city over it on Oct. 20.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan expects the city’s agreement to sell the land to Detroit-based Sterling Group and Dallas-based Hillwood Enterprises LP will close in the next few days, he told reporters at an ad-hoc news conference early Wednesday afternoon. The

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Judge temporarily halts Detroit’s sale of state fairgrounds site for Amazon development

A Wayne County Circuit Court judge issued an order temporarily stopping the city of Detroit from selling the former Michigan State Fairgrounds to developers for a $400 million Amazon.com Inc. facility.

The deal with Detroit-based Sterling Group and Dallas-based Hillwood Enterprises LP to buy the 142 acre site for $16 million, including the land sale and money to construct a replacement public transit center, was expected to close around Friday. It got the Detroit City Council approvals needed for the sale on Oct. 20.

The State Fairgrounds Development Coalition, which was seeking a publicly usable redevelopment of the site, has railed against the Amazon deal and sued the city over it, also on Oct. 20.

“The court finds plaintiffs will experience immediate and irreparable harm unless defendants are immediately restrained and enjoined,” Judge Sheila Ann Gibson wrote in Wednesday’s order, of which Crain’s received a copy. “The court also having

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Asheville City Council halts sale of property acquired through urban renewal

Asheville City Council is a step closer to fulfilling its promise of reparations for Black residents. At their meeting of Oct. 27, Council members voted 6-1 to suspend the sale or change in use of any city property acquired through urban renewal, a set of practices designed to clear blighted areas that often forced out established Black communities. 

But the newly approved resolution exempts property located at 172 and 174 South Charlotte Street, which is under contract to be sold to White Labs, Inc., a San Diego-based yeast manufacturer and brewpub; and property on Asheland Avenue currently being reviewed for an affordable housing partnership with Haywood Street Congregation. 

Community members generally applauded the move as a step in the right direction. But excluding the White Labs property — which will net roughly $3.7 million after the December sale is finalized — is akin to deciding to quit drinking or smoking,

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