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Judge temporarily halts sale of former State Fairgrounds site for redevelopment project

City council approved sale of fairgrounds this month

DETROIT – Amazon has committed to a major distribution center in the city of Detroit on the former state fairgrounds site.

That deal was announced in August and had already been signed off on by the Detroit City Council.

On Thursday, a group opposing the sale, called the State Fair Development Coalition, got a temporary restraining order in Wayne County Circuit Court against the project. The group claims the city is violating its community benefits ordinance, which is triggered when developers are given tax breaks.

Amazon and it’s developer aren’t getting any tax breaks or incentives. However, the group said because the land was sold with deductions for environmental clean up, that should be considered a break. The city claims the sale price for the land was $16 million, which is above the appraised value.

“The city was never provided notice of the plaintiffs' request for the temporary order or an opportunity to respond,” said Detroit Corporation Counsel Lawrence Garcia. “The order was issued on bad information, and we are moving to respond to complete the record.”


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