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The sale of the property was approved for $4.65 million, but Johnson and his development group did not pay anything upfront, instead reaching an agreement with state officials to make payments from future revenues.
The Magic Plus investment group reportedly plans to put retail centers, housing, and theaters on the property, but has no specific plans of yet.
State officials admit that they were eager to approve Johnson’s investment group for the deal partly due to Johnson’s business experience.
“But also the wherewithal that Magic Johnson brings as a business person, as well as Joel Ferguson. So, we’re very confident in where we have headed in terms process but also the caliber of developer we have brought to the table here,” said Deborah Muchmore, Land Bank chair.
The agreement also takes the property off of Michigan’s books and erases the annual debt associated with the 157 acre property.
The Magic Plus development group recently opened a new Gateway Marketplace in the Michigan area. The development group includes Magic Johnson as well as REDICO.
At this juncture, the developers only have very general plans for the large Detroit space.
“We talked about residential housing — single family. There will be private homes in there. We think this is a great location and there is a demand for senior living,” said Bruce Babiarz, REDICO spokesman.
The fairground property was oncededicated to state fairs until then Gov. Jennifer Granholm ended the tradition in 2009 when she cut off funding.