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What Will Happen to the State Fairgrounds?

Stephen Henderson meets with Jim Casha and Brian Colfer, advocates for a regional transportation hub at the State Fairgrounds. The land has been unused for several years. They talk about the Regional Transit Authority (RTA), why they believe the Fairgrounds are a prime location for a transit center, and how you can voice your opinion. The key points of their discussion:

  • A single opportunity: Casha says now is the perfect opportunity to capitalize on both regional transit and the creation of public spaces. He says the retail developments currently proposed for the State Fairgrounds can be done anywhere in the city, but the location at 8 Mile and Woodward is the only opportunity for a regional transit center.
  • Why is no one listening?: Colfer wants the RTA to seize the land but is afraid the state will decide to sell it to private developers instead. He says legislators are “tone deaf” to this issue and calls the State Fairgrounds the “forbidden fruit” that no one wants to talk about.
  • Sharing the land?: Casha says if the RTA owned the Fairgrounds land, having an “iconic and multi-modal” transit center is a tremendous opportunity to generate revenue from it. He says the regional transportation hub could share the land with public and private development as well as retaining areas for the fair and community activities.  Colfer has a different view and would rather have the Fairgrounds used exclusively for transportation purposes. 

Click the audio link above to hear the full conversation.

Image credit: Andrew Jameson

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