No love: Newark won't revive popular Valentine's Day vacant lot sale this year

By Dan Ivers | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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on February 11, 2016

A crowd gathers at Newark City Hall as the city sells municipally-owned vacant lots in its two Model Neighborhood Initiative areas for $1,000 each to couples seeking to construct homes on them, in a "Valentine's Land Sale Day." 02/14/2015

 

NEWARK – Hopeful prospective owners will not be feeling the love from Newark this year, as the city will not revive a Valentine's Day program that put 100 vacant lots on the market for just $1,000 each.

Sources in City Hall said the sale, which made national headlines in 2015, will not be held, though officials have not ruled out making similar offerings in the future.

An announcement aimed at boosting efforts to unload city-owned plots is planned for as early as next week, though no additional details were offered.

Hundreds of couples showed up last year in hopes of building on the vacant lots, located mostly in the city's south, central and west wards. The first 100 were awarded properties, and were expected to make a $500 down payment and an additional $500 at closing.

Construction is required to be complete within 18 months of closing, and the couples would have to live in the home full-time for 5 years, or face potential fines or repossession.

NJ Advance Media has requested updates on each of the properties sold in 2015, and the city is expected to reveal how many buyers were able to close or begin building in the coming days.

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