Michael Nutter, surrounded by fellow council members, signed the Land Bank Bill into law. Credit: Charles Mostoller. Michael Nutter, surrounded by fellow council members, signed the Land Bank Bill into law. Credit: Charles Mostoller.

Mayor Michael Nutter Monday made it official: Philadelphia is now the largest city with a land bank.

Nutter signed the Philly Land Bank bill, which will act as a clearing house or 10,000 pieces of city-owned vacant land, Monday afternoon. The city has said it has a total of 40,000 pieces of vacant parcels within city limits.

 

The new land bank, which is supposed to make it easier for developers to buy and transform real estate, was suggested as a venue to fight blight and to pump up the housing market.

The bill finally passed City Council once Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez relented and agreed with Council President Darrell Clarke's push for more oversight. A committee will review land purchases before they become final.

The bank will take effect at the end of the year.

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