Greater Syracuse Land Bank

Cameron Tirado / WAER News

A dilapidated home with cracking paint and weeds growing through the front steps on Syracuse’s South Side is going to serve as the focal point of a Safe and Healthy home tour.  The house is situated behind another home after a long walk-up a cracked driveway.   

Director of Code Enforcement Ken Towsley says inspectors will lead the public tours and point out what hazards needs to be addressed.

WAER file

As the year ends, so do the Common Council terms of several well-known faces.  Councilor-at-Large Jean Kessner ends an eight-year run.  She hopes she’s remembered more for helping people than for any specific bills or laws she helped pass.

“When you go to ban-the-box or section-8 housing (measures), or any of the other things that we’ve passed, is that we just want to give people opportunity.  We don’t have money to hand out, but we can provide a level playing field.  That’s really, really important to me.” 

John Smith/WAER News

The Greater Syracuse Community and organizers want to uplift neighborhoods with colorful painted scenes on boards placed on decaying properties.  Their teamwork aims to improve neighborhood surroundings and to let residents know that others care.

A group gathers on a Saturday in the parking lot of a now defunct church on Syracuse’s South Side.  The Syracuse Land Bank owns the property at the corner of South Salina and Colvin Streets.  People are given large panels of primed boards set-up on horses to create some artistic flair.

Bridget McAllister / WAER News

It’s been five years since the creation of the Greater Syracuse Land Bank, and Tuesday, officials hosted a bus tour showcasing examples of its efforts to revitalize blighted properties and neighborhoods.  Executive director Katelyn Wright says they can’t do it alone; private investors are the key to their success.

Scott Willis / WAER News

The Greater Syracuse Land Bank marked a milestone just in time for its annual meeting Tuesday.  The organization closed on its 400th sale last week to a city employee who’s promised to live there for five years.  Land Bank Executive Director Katelyn Wright says the home is on Oakley Drive in the Valley section…

"In this case, it's a young man,  and  it's going to be his first home," Wright said.  "He put in an offer through our Home Ownership Choice program.  His dad owns a construction business, so he'll have lots of help with the renovations that are needed."

side view of a house with boarded windows and a flier posted to one window board with Syracuse Landbank logo
Scott Willis / WAER News

The Greater Syracuse Land Bank is hoping to deal with its most blighted properties in a more sustainable way by having them deconstructed and recycled instead of demolished and sent to a landfill. The first round of bids includes three houses for deconstruction, and organizers are hoping that the pilot program will grow and result in a boost for jobs and job training opportunities in Onondaga County. Interested contractors attended an information session Thursday, and were able to inspect any of the three homes up for bid.