New film "Land Grab" examines Detroit's controversial Hantz Farms | Michigan Radio

New film "Land Grab" examines Detroit's controversial Hantz Farms

Jun 28, 2016

John Hantz heads a business financial services conglomerate

He wants to plant 15,000 trees on 140 acres of Detroit land he bought in 2012. It would be the world's largest urban farm.

The plan has strong backers and equally strong critics. 

It's a story that Sean O'Grady tells in his new documentary film Land Grab.

O'Grady produced and directed the film. 

O'Grady told us he didn't know much about the politics and history of land development in Detroit before production of the film began. But when he started talking to Detroiters about the Hantz Farms project, he "immediately understood the resistance."

"There is a long history of developers saying they're going to do one thing and doing another thing," he said. "Getting a bunch of public funds, taking tax dollars, starting a project, not finishing it, and it leaves the area worse off than it was before."


Sean O'Grady was raised in Saginaw. He is director, producer, and founder of Atlas Industries.