Morning Headlines: Land Bank to Start at the End of this Year

Buildings in Mantua, the West Philadelphia neighborhood with close to 15% in vacant properties.
Photo credit: Ian Freimuth via Flickr

At long last the much anticipated and nationally acknowledged Land Bank has become official. Yesterday, Mayor Nutter signed the bill that permits the formation of a division in charge of taking over Philadelphia’s tax-delinquent and vacant properties, and selling them to buyers.

Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sanchez estimates that the bank, which will be a branch of the Philadelphia Housing Development Corp., will require somewhere between $3 million and $5 million to get going. With more than 11,000 properties throughout the city, is that really surprising?

The Inquirer’s Claudia Vargas pinpoints four things that need to happen before the land bank can put properties on the market:

[1] The land bank must be incorporated by the state.
[2] Money must be allocated from the city’s budget for the bank’s operations.
[3] A strategic plan must be developed for the land bank and then approved by Council.
[4] City-owned properties need to be transferred to the new body by Council.

According to Mayor Nutter, the Land Bank is expected to launch at the end of this year.

More news stories on the property front…

With land value tax, Philly could grow economy and balance tax burden for residents [NewsWorks]

Center City Philly’s biggest hotel sold, cheap []

Sales brisk at Toll Brothers’ Society Hill condo development [Philadelphia Business Journal]

Bradley Maule’s Epic Love Note to the PSFS Building []

Waterfront agency, advocacy group review projects [PlanPhilly]

What would U-City be like with no U? [Philadelphia Real Estate Blog]