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If Detroit’s vacant land was gathered together, it would span an area that’s larger than the entire city of Paris. Every year, the Wayne County Foreclosed Property Auction offers up thousands of properties up to the highest bidder. That is, if there’s even a buyer. In the 2012 auction, which just ended, 8,000 of those foreclosed properties ended back up on the property rolls.

When prices of $500 for a plot of land can’t tempt a buyer, what will? That’s the kind of mind game that keeps digital wizards like Jerry Paffendorf busy. He’s the founder of Loveland Technologies and Why Don’t We Own This?, which has been working to digitize land maps, streamline the land auction process and think up new ways to make Detroit’s neighborhoods vibrant again.

Paffendorf will host a presentation and discussion with UIX and HuffPost Detroit called “No Property Left Behind,” kicking off Nov. 28 at the Cafe Con Leche De Este pop-up coffeeshop in Lafayette Park.

Click here for more information about the “No Property Left Behind” event and the Urban Innovation Exchange.


Just about 20,000 properties (roughly 5% of the city) were auctioned for $500 and around 8,000 properties did not sell. Overall it seems there was nearly a $250,000,000 (quarter billion dollar) property tax revenue gap.


Read more from Jerry Paffendorf on what should be happening with Detroit properties in the Huffington Post

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