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Chicago Is Selling Vacant Lots for $1

But only to their neighbors
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2014 12:59 PM CDT
Chicago Is Selling Vacant Lots for $1
A vacant lot is seen in Chicago in this file photo.   (Flickr/Ullanne)

(Newser) Even Detroit doesn't have city real estate cheaper than this. Chicago is now offering vacant lots for just a buck each, NPR reports. But before you start dreaming of your new life as a Windy City land speculator, you should know there's a catch: You have to already own a home on the same block, and have no outstanding debts to the city. The country's murder capital has a lot of vacant lots on its hands—including almost 5,000 in its troubled Englewood neighborhood alone.

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Officials say they've received more than 400 applications so far in Englewood. "I just want to make my block nicer," says one woman applying to buy a lot there. She plans to install public art in the space, perhaps alongside a barbecue pit, chess tables, and a dog area. Other efforts are under way to improve the neighborhood too; a Whole Foods broke ground there on Tuesday, the Chicago Tribune reports, and Rahm Emanuel showed up to declare the occasion a "testament to the resurgence of Englewood … and the resilience of the people of Englewood." (Read more Chicago stories.)

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