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Detroit Continues Working To Eliminate Empty Spaces With $100 Lot Sale

DETROIT (WWJ) -- A process which normally takes months -- or even years -- was simplified on Detroit's east side on Saturday at the Samaritan Center with a side lot sale for Districts 3, 4, and 5.

Craig Fahle with Detroit's land bank authority said that side lots only cost $100 and attendees can complete the purchase on-site.

"I had one person who came in and said that they had taken care of their lot for 45 years, had been trying to buy it for the last 20 (years) and couldn't get anywhere," Fahle said. "Then they came to the last one and they bought it within an hour, and they had their lot and they walked out and they were crying. It's just better customer service."

The sale is the third of its kind since Detroit mayor Mike Duggan announced the program back in November to help spur the sale of vacant lots to homeowners.

"We did over 100 in the last one, we did just about 100 in the first one," Fahle said. "That's 200 lots now that someone is going to fence in, take care of, beautify their neighborhood, reduce the places for illegal dumping."

The first sale took place in early December as hundreds of people turned out for more than 7,000 pieces of land that were up for sale in Districts 6 and 7 — parts of downtown, Midtown and Corktown, as well as Warrendale and Russell Woods.

Fahle said that people were there to take advantage of the $100 price tag on each plot of land.

"We're working on plans for the rest of the vacant lots in the city — we'll have those plans sometime soon," Fahle said. "As soon as you put a fence on a lot, it eliminates the problem of illegal dumping, it makes the neighborhoods look better. It improves the quality of life, not just for the next door neighbor, but for everyone on the block because it's one less vacant property that's not being maintained."

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