After living on Greenwood Avenue for 58 years, Janet Boyd is seeing her property double in size. “I am very happy with it,” Boyd said. The lifelong Jackson resident bought the vacant lot next door from the City of Jackson on Oct. 19, making it the 100th side lot to be sold since Feb.
The lot sale to Boyd is a milestone for the City-Owned Property Sales Program. Jackson started 2021 owning 532 vacant side lots, which were acquired over the past decade through tax foreclosures and demolitions. In Feb., the City launched increased efforts to sell these properties through its website, social media posts, and the hiring of a new Assistant to the City Manager to handle lot sales. 8 months later, 100 side lot sales have brought $45,170 in revenue.
City Manager Jonathan Greene says the sales benefit the entire community. “The program is putting money into our general tax revenue fund, which we use to fund City services, along with helping residents improve their neighborhoods,” Greene said. “This is definitely something to celebrate. I thank City staff for their hard work and ingenuity in making the sales an ongoing success.”
Sold through the City Manager’s Office, side lots are only available to residents with adjacent properties. A minimum offer of $300 is required, but some lots are sold for more if there is demand for the property. The purchaser must not owe the City any unpaid fines, fees, utility bills or taxes. After the sale is finalized, residents adopt the lot into their existing property. Some residents use the additional land for new driveways, garages, home additions, and extra yard space. Boyd is looking forward to having the yard she has always wanted. “I plan on planting some flowers and maybe a fruit tree, just keeping a nicely landscaped lawn,” Boyd said. “More residents should take advantage of this program.”
The City works with a realtor to sell intact houses and commercial buildings on the open market for prices ranging from $500 to $130,000. 28 properties have been sold over the past year, bringing $388,934 in estimated revenue. The vacant properties, which were also acquired through tax foreclosure, are sold to investors and families to bring back to life as homes. These sales require approval from the City Council. 42 vacant properties remain and will be posted on the City website when they are ready to be sold.
More information about the City-Owned Property Sales Program can be found by visiting cityofjackson.org/citypropertysales.