Syracuse Land Bank

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.

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.

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.