NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Couples in Newark were offered a sweetheart deal for Valentine’s Day.

Hundreds stood in line at City Hall Saturday for a chance to buy city-owned vacant lots for $1,000.

Andrew Williams, who currently rents in neighboring East Orange, wanted a place to call his own.

“I want a piece of the pie and a place where my family can do a little bit better for ourselves,” he told WCBS 880’s Jim Smith.

Buyers must commit to build houses on the properties within 18 months and live there for five years.

“It’s an opportunity for us to try to bring people back to the neighborhood and give life to the city,” said Keith Hamilton, manager of city-owned properties.

The demand was so strong, Hamilton said the city is planning to do it again later this year.

Couples who purchased lots will be required to make a $500 down payment and pay the additional $500 at closing.

Buyers will also have to submit a City Planning Board approved site plan to close on the property and complete construction within 18 months of closing.