Tina Sfondeles reports for the Chicago Sun-Times on the recently approved plans in Chicago to sell city-owned vacant lots to homeowners and nonprofits in Englewood for $1. “The lots were acquired by the city through property tax and demolition liens dating to the 1960s,” reports Sfondeles.
The city Department of Planning & Development is selling vacant lots in a 13-square-mile planning area, which includes lots in “West Englewood, Washington Park and Woodlawn, as well as parts of the New City, Fuller Park and Greater Grand Crossing neighborhoods.” Neighborhood residents are hoping that up to 2,300 vacant lots in Englewood and 1,354 in West Englewood could be transformed, for example, by public art, community gardens, or dog parks. The sales will last until April 21, 2014.
This isn’t the first such clearance sale of vacant properties in Chicago, according to the article by Sfondeles. “The city, under former Mayor Richard M. Daley, has done this many times. In 2009, the city sold about 80 South Side parcels at a dollar each to be used for single-family homes, as well as five acres of vacant parcels on the Far South Side to a developer.”