In Detroit, it's tough being super-rich. You want to maximize your profits by having nothing but the best, so you are simply forced
to turn to the public for assistance. Usually, our local governments and individual citizens are eager to help, as when Comerica Park was built: The stadium cost $300 million, 38 percent of which was publicly financed. Or take a look at the proposed Red Wings stadium: The public will foot about 58 percent of the bill. That's evidence right there that Detroit's wealthy need our help more now than ever.
So we were deeply moved when news reached us that help was needed at Hantz Woodlands, the subsidiary of Hantz Farms, itself operated by Hantz Group, a company founded by multimillionaire Detroiter John Hantz. You may remember that Hantz's feel-good plan was to put together a farm, or, rather, a forest, on Detroit's east side. His stated goals have involved everything from beautification to creating real estate scarcity, but the effect is inarguable: Instead of empty homes and blighted parcels, we would see mowed fields and planned forests. And all Hantz wanted in return, it seems, was to be able to purchase all that then-undesirable land so he could own it outright, rather than, say, leasing it. (Should the real estate one day be worth more than the lumber that will grow on it, that will no doubt be a happy day for Hantz's heirs. And good for them, right? Rich people are awesome!)
Now, I know what you're probably saying after hearing how Hantz got to buy all this land on the cheap without so much as an official assessment. You're saying, "Gee, Mr. Jackman: How can I help this super-rich guy by eliminating labor costs?"
The good news is that it's very easy. May 9 is "Hantz Woodlands Planting Day."
That's right, you can put on your dungarees and work boots and march right over to the now in-perpetuity-owned-by-Hantz land, where you can offer the mogul your very own sweat and toil, planting the trees he'll one day harvest on land that could one day be worth an untold fortune! And, while you labor in the sunshine, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you're helping one of the people who needs you the most: a humble, modest fellow Detroiter who simply happens to be worth more than $100 million.
Registration begins at 10 a.m., work begins at 11 a.m., on Saturday, May 9. See hantzfarmsdetroit.com to pre-register.