Council president offers plan for quick turnaround of vacant Philly properties

City Council President Darrell Clarke says he has a new plan for vacant land in Philadelphia.

Clarke says he wants to provide city-owned vacant property at either half price or nearly free of charge for those who are willing to develop it quickly.

“The market in the city of Philadelphia is changing,” he said Wednesday. “People are now interested in building, but there’s needs to be several levels of incentive, so in these measures that we will put forward, we will lay all of that out.”

Clarke says construction could create millions of dollars worth of new revenue for the city — eventually.

“After the abatement is over, we could create $125 million worth of annual revenue, so we can create a disincentive for individuals to sit on properties,” he said.

To qualify, Clarke says developers would have to receive a certificate of occupancy in less than two years. There would also be incentives for constructing low-income housing.

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