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Mayor Announces Competition for Creative Ideas for Redeveloping Vacant Lots

Tuesday January 7, 2014

Individuals, groups eligible for $38,000 in prize money

Mayor Greg Fischer today issued a challenge to citizens — give the city your most creative ideas for redeveloping vacant lots and win $38,000 in prize money to carry out that vision.

The Lots of Possibility competition, funded by a grant from a local foundation, seeks ideas from individuals or groups to take one or more eligible vacant lots owned by the Louisville/Jefferson County Landbank Authority and the Urban Renewal Commission and put them into productive use.

It’s part of a broader strategy as the city works to implement policies and plans to reduce the number of vacant and abandoned properties that dot the city, with a high concentration in Western Louisville. The city has identified more than 6,000 vacant properties and has been razing some and foreclosing on others.

“The rules for this competition are simple — be creative and be bold,” Fischer said.

The competition is collaboration between the Department of Community Services and Revitalization, Vision Louisville and the Mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team, funded in part by a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Prize money will be awarded in two areas:

  • Proposals involving construction for residential or commercial use. Proposals submitted in this category should include a long-term/permanent use of a vacant lot managed by Metro Government. Up to two winners will receive ownership of the vacant lot and $15,000 to implement their proposal.
  • Proposals involving temporary or interim use of vacant lots. This category is designed for proposals that identify innovative ways to repurpose vacant lots. Uses are not expected to be permanent at the outset, but rather to preserve the land for future potential development. Up to two winners will receive a one-year land lease (renewable for an additional year, for a total of a two-year land lease). Winners will also receive $4,000 to help implement their idea.

Entries are due Feb. 24. Six finalists in each category will be chosen by a jury and the winners will be announced in April.

Full details about the competition can be found on the city’s VAPStat website: http://vapstat.louisvilleky.gov.