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Chicago Puts Thousands of Vacant Lots on the Market for $1

Chicago continues to lose population from parts of the city, so vacant properties are multiplying. The city's "Large Lots" program aims to return vacant properties back to control by residents of the neighborhoods.
May 22, 2018, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Englewood Southside Neighborhood
frank pavone

"Chicago is again seeking city residents interested in buying vacant lots in their neighborhoods for $1," reports Samantha Bomkamp.

The city is offering 3,219 empty lots on the South and West sides of the city through the Large Lots program. Earlier iterations of the Large Lots offered similar cheap land to residents in 2016 and 2014.

"The program requires buyers to already own property on the same block, be current on property taxes and have no outstanding debt with the city, like a late water bill or unpaid parking tickets," according to Bomkamp.

The city acquired the properties through property tax and demolition liens. The city now owns 11,500 vacant lots, spread between more than two dozen of the city's 77 community areas. While "Legacy Cities" like Detroit have a reputation for vacant properties, Chicago's regular renewal of the Large Lots program serves as a reminder that the recent trend toward urbanization in the United States hasn't served every neighborhood in even the largest of American cities.

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Published on Friday, May 18, 2018 in Chicago Tribune
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