City ponders land bank to develop vacant municipal property

 

If the city establishes a land bank, vacant properties like this one would be much easier to sell. Credit: Paige Ozaroski
A land bank is hoped to spur the sale and development of vacant properties like this one. Credit: Paige Ozaroski

Don’t look now, but Philly’s government is trying to make something easy.

A City Council committee gave preliminary approval to a bill which would start a city land bank. It will have a first reading in council on Nov. 14.

The bank would act as a clearinghouse for the 10,000 pieces of city-owned vacant land.

The bank would benefit residents, developers and leaders who find it difficult to navigate the myriad of city agencies that control real estate.

The plan is to fight blight, and to pump up the housing market and push the city’s population forward.

But ultimately, “the idea is to move it,” said Councilman Bobby Henon, chair of the Committee on Public Property and Public Works that approved the bill.

“They’re just sitting there,” Henon said, “not producing any good for the community, not producing any kind of taxes.”

If passed by City Council, the city would establish an online database listing the available land, its price tag and history of the property.

“We didn’t have a database before,” Henon said. “So it wasn’t up until last year that we even had an account of what we had. The departments didn’t talk to each other.”

Before a sale, the bank would require approval from Council and the city’s vacant property review committee.

Andrew Sharp, of the Land Bank Alliance, said in March that “The land bank would create a transparent, accountable, predictable process for folks who want to invest inland and who want to rebuild neighborhoods.”

____________________

Follow Tommy Rowan on Twitter: @tommyrowan

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Twitter: @metrophilly

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Facebook: Metro Philadelphia



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.