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Claremont offering free land to build on, but in 7 years only 3 lots occupied

CLAREMONT, Minn. (KTTC) – The city of Claremont is faced with a unique problem: it has free land, but can’t seem to give it away.

“We figure people would like to be here. So, if we entice them with a free lot, they can build a home here,” said City Administrator Marie Lindblom.

Despite the deal that sounds too good to be true but isn’t, the city can’t find anyone who’s interested.

“I’m not quite sure why. I like the location.” Brian Spencer has lived in the neighborhood at Fourth and Julia since 2014. He bought his home from the project developer, meaning he didn’t get to take advantage of the free land program. (The city took ownership of the land in 2012 after a developer went bankrupt. Now, the lots are costing the city thousands every year).

“It’s kind of lonely out here; it’s not bad, but we’d like to have some more people out here,” said Spencer.

Even though free land has been available for about seven years now only two people have taken advantage of what this sign has to offer. One of those lives across the street from Spencer. The other is under construction by Habitat for Humanity.

Of the 15 lots, 12 are available. The homes come with sewer, water, electric, and curbs already in place.

To qualify, a family of two must make under $84,000 a year, build a home within one year, pay $1,000 for administrative fees, and the lot is theirs. Families of three or more must make no more than $104,000 a year.

Claremont could be the place to build a dream home and give Spencer some new neighbors. “I think they’ll find that it’s worth it. It’s rewarding.”

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Shannon Rousseau

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