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Idea for project with Magic Johnson moves ahead

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DETROIT (AP) — An idea to redevelop the former Michigan State Fairgrounds site in Detroit by a group that includes Hall-of-Fame basketball player turned businessman Earvin "Magic" Johnson is moving forward.

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The Detroit News and MLive.com report that the Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority agreed Thursday to begin negotiations with Magic Plus LLC. The plan submitted last year would redevelop the site for a movie theater, park, housing and restaurants.

There's no timeline being released for reaching a development agreement. The Michigan State Fair closed in 2009 because of a lack of funding.

Johnson's partners are Detroit entrepreneur Marvin Beatty and Lansing businessman Joel Ferguson. Ferguson also is on the Michigan State University Board of Trustees.

Johnson led Michigan State to the 1979 college basketball national championship.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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