Greater Syracuse Land Bank Celebrates Its 5-Year Anniversary

June 20, at 9:30 AM members of the Greater Syracuse Land Bank’s board of directors, local government officials and staff, and agencies that work with the Land Bank will board a bus and tour a series of properties the Land Bank has sold or plans to sell or redevelop in furtherance of their mission: to return vacant and abandoned properties to productive use. They’ll be reflecting on the past five years’ accomplishments, visiting properties representative of the various types of property the land banks sells, and discussing goals and challenges to come. Itinerary attached.

The Greater Syracuse Land Bank was incorporated in June 2012, one of the first five established in New York State. In October of 2013 the City completed the first foreclosures, conveying the first properties to the Land Bank. Since then the Greater Syracuse Land Bank has:

  • Acquired 1,338 properties
  • Sold 450 Properties
  • Leveraging over $17.4 million in private renovation investment
  • Generating over $800,000/year in local property taxes from properties that were previously not paying
  •  Leveraged $10.3 million in grant funding (not counting funds granted to the Land Bank by the City or County)
  •  Demolished over 175 blighted buildings

These projects are, bit by bit, putting better quality housing back on the market, enhancing surrounding property values, and improving quality of life for neighbors who have had to look at abandoned properties next door for far too long.

Creation of the Land Bank has enabled the City and Land Bank to:

  • Assemble land together to make way for larger development projects,
  • Market properties to a broader pool of buyers,
  • Require buyers to make certain improvements after purchase,
  • Conduct detailed interior conditions evaluations and make better informed decisions about which properties require demolition and conduct architectural salvage prior to demolitions,
  • Make lots more readily available for community gardens and greenspace,
  • Work with the Police to give them more control than they had pre-foreclosure and provide buildings for Police and Fire to train in.