Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Tuesday: Land Bank forum with Detroit Project

7. January 2005 • Murph
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38,000 City-Owned Vacant Lots in Detroit. What to do with them?

Open Forum on Land Bank and Land Development in Detroit
Sponsored by The Detroit Project

Come discuss the future of abandoned land in Detroit. Who should be able to claim this land? What can be done with it? How can the development of vacant property help to revitalize the city? Learn about the issue of abandoned property and the controversial legislation that addresses the future of these lots.

Speakers include Ponsella Hardaway, Executive Director of MOSES, and Margaret Dewar from the Taubman Center for Architecture and Urban Planning.

After the speakers’ presentation, there will be a question and answer session.

When: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 at 7:00 pm
Where: Michigan Union, Anderson Room C

Contact dp.learning@umich.edu with questions.

The Detroit Project’s Paul Mardirosian provides the following synopsis of the Detroit land banking idea, which was authorized by the State Legislature earlier this year:

A landbank is an authority that local municipalities in Michigan and other states can create to help expedite the process of land disposition. Cities such as Detroit have trouble luring developers because of long development timetables (up to 3 years), high development costs, and problems with multiple property claims and clouded title. A landbank consolidates the inefficient existing system, making it faster and cheaper for developers to complete projects. In addition, landbanks have the potential power to shape community development, meaning they can choose to hand over land at cheap prices to community development corporations and non-profits, lending to low-income housing and other community assets, instead of to short term land-speculators who hope to turn a profit but often do little to develop a property. Detroit is currently in the process of developing an intergovernmental agreement with the state, after which a landbank will potentially be created.