Going Once: City Looks to Sell Almost 200 Properties at Auction

The properties are clustered in South Philly and Kensington.

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“Seller is definitely motivated to sell!”

That snippet comes from the FAQs of the upcoming “as-is” land auction of around 185 properties.

What makes this a unique situation is that these properties are owned by the City of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation and the Philadelphia Redevelopment Corporation. The Land Bank hasn’t officially gotten off of the ground as of yet and the city is looking to auction off a slew of properties in order to encourage private development.

So yes, the seller is definitely motivated to sell.

The properties are mainly located within Councilman Mark Squilla’s district, which includes South Philly, Kensington and a few in Port Richmond and Frankford. Fisher Auction Company is running the auction process and Paul Chrystie, director of communications with Office of Housing and Community Development, confirmed in an email that Keller Williams has been brought on by the auction house to “provide assistance determining Fair Market Value, some local marketing and signage on the properties.” As you’ll see from this handy (and oddly sponsored) map, the inventory largely consists of vacant land, some gardens and a few vacant buildings as well. There is also one single-family home and one single parking lot available.

Here’s a look at the starting bids for each property. The lowest comes in at $1,750 for a parcel at 2831 Coral Street. The top opening goes to a vacant lot on 3422 Collins Street in Port Richmond for $24,500. Buyers must pay a $2,500 deposit per each property purchased and close on the property within three months. If you’re interested in more information, definitely (and carefully) read the FAQs.

The Land Bank isn’t operational as of yet, but Chystie said they would be keeping a close eye on how the auction goes. “It’s certainly an option that the Land Bank would be considering.”

Here’s more from PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey:

According to Squilla’s office, the Land Bank—which was created by Council at the end of 2013, began holding board meetings last summer, and adopted a year-one strategic plan last fall—isn’t yet operational enough to handle this auction. The sales of these properties have been in the works for about 9 months, his office said.

What: Public Land Auction

When: Friday, June 12 – 11 a.m.

Where: Pennsylvania Media Center, 1234 Market Street, 3rd floor (map)