6. Community Gardens
The Elizabeth Street Garden
While this example doesn’t constitute a sale, the history of community gardens began in the late 1970s with token leases for as little as $1 per year (or sometimes $1 per month) between the city and neighborhood groups to revitalize vacant parcels. The fate of these parcels have become particularly contentious in recent years with increased pressure to provide affordable housing. The city has attempted, in some cases, to take back these sites that have become important community locations over the last several decades. Organizations, such as the New York Restoration Project, have purchased some of the community gardens outright to keep the lots as public amenities.