Land Bank

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."

Syracuselandbank.org

At least two Syracuse Common Councilors are starting to take a stand against the almost automatic sale of hundreds of tax delinquent properties to the land bank and not giving others the option to buy.    About 30 properties were on this week's agenda, and Councilor Nader Maroun voted no on all of them.  At the council's previous meeting,  Kathleen Joy  issued a  similar protest "no" vote on land bank properties.

Scott Willis / WAER News

The abandoned, boarded-up Syracuse house where Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum first met his future wife might finally have a brighter future via the land bank.  Syracuse common councilors Monday approved the sale of the tax delinquent house at 678 W. Onondaga Street to the land bank, which then could choose to sell it to the Baum Foundation.  Executive Director Kathleen DiScenna says the couple met in 1881.   She says his late niece Cynthia told her,

Max Brady, WAER News

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman pointed to a homeowner and a neighborhood on Syracuse’s Near West Side today as an example of how he plans to dedicate money to the state’s land banks.  He stopped by Haydee Rolon’s house on Marcellus Street to announce his intention to allocate $20 million more in relief for the neighborhoods by addressing vacant properties.