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Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan (left) and City Councilman Roy MaCalister Jr. (right).

The Detroit City Council voted 8-0 Tuesday to buy 142 acres of the long-neglected Michigan State Fairgrounds site. The $7 million acquisition from the state moves the property along Woodward Avenue one step closer to development after the council voted to buy and market it for development. City Councilman Scott Benson was absent from the meeting.

City officials say the property offers a prime opportunity to bring jobs to the area, which is vastly surrounded by blighted homes and empty lots.

“We are currently determining next steps, but the state fairgrounds site is one of the largest develop-able parcels of land in Detroit and represents an opportunity to create a major employment center for Detroiters, economic growth and continued community development,” city spokesman Tim Carroll. “The purchase of the land will allow the city of Detroit to lead the redevelopment process and do so with participation and input from the community.”

Development group Magic Plus LLC is on track to purchase 16 acres of the site along Woodward Avenue in two noncontiguous parcels for $472,000 from the land bank.

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