Ann Arbor Area Community News
38,000 City-Owned Vacant Lots in Detroit. What to do with them?
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.
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