Bonus! Round-up of some of the top land bank news stories in 2014

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A bonus “Headlines” blog post, all about land banks? We know many of you care about land banking, but that’s not the only reason for this special post. Consider it, if you will, an appetizer before the main course:

Next Tuesday, November 18th, a brand new publication hits the (digital) shelves: Take it to the Bank: How Land Banks Are Strengthening America’s Neighborhoods.

This report is a national scan of land banks in the United States, also featuring seven in-depth land bank portraits. It’s based on research of 67 land banks, conducted from 2013 to 2014. We can’t wait to share it with you on Tuesday, and hope it will be useful and informative.

But first, please enjoy this handful of land bank news stories from 2014. It’s been a big year for land banks. As always, the headlines are for informational purposes only; inclusion does not indicate endorsement.

And, don’t forget to subscribe to our email list to make sure that you’re among the first to get your hands on this new research!

Downtown – Rochester, NY – Credit Chelsea Allinger for the Center for Community Progress – 2014

Alabama

Birmingham Land Bank Authority holds first meeting, gets tutorial as thousands of abandoned properties await action“‘It will give us the power and ability to take abandoned and tax delinquent property and re-purpose that property. This is a very powerful tool for us,’ Mayor William Bell said of the new authority.” Joseph D. Bryant | AL.com  | September 11, 2014

Georgia

Local government has various blight arrows in its arsenal
“The rebuilt Beall’s Hill neighborhood has been held up as a success story in fighting blight and revitalizing a part of town that many had written off as unsalvageable.”
Debbie Blankenship | The Macon Telegraph | September 29, 2014

Illinois

Banking on it: Neighborhoods hit by foreclosure look to Cook County Land Bank“Neighborhoods where the market has stalled but not collapsed entirely are called “tipping communities. Some land bank leadership can help stabilize these communities” and “tip” these places back into full stability.” Robin Amer | Medill Reports-Chicago  | June 10, 2014

Michigan

Detroit to sue ‘owner of every single abandoned house’ in fight vs. blight“The Motor City is taking drastic measures to clean up nearly 80,000 vacant properties in its 139-square miles.”CBS Detroit | April 10, 2014

Flint Civic Park booster: $2.6 million for demolition should ‘make a whole lot of difference’
“‘Residents and community partners have been working for years to improve the neighborhood,’ Flint Mayor Dayne Walling said in a news release announcing the demolition grant. ‘Removing blighted houses in Civic Park will support these investments and create new opportunities for redevelopment.'”Ron Fonger | M Live | September 10, 2014

Nebraska

With Omaha Municipal Land Bank approved, what’s next?“Now that the Omaha Municipal Land Bank has been OK’d, the challenge is to create an agency that will make a difference in the chronic deterioration of north and South Omaha neighborhoods.”Christopher Burbach | The World Herald | July 27, 2014

New York

New York land banks report statewide progress“Today, the New York Land Bank Association (NYLBA) released New York State Land Banks: Combating Blight and Vacancy in New York Communities, a report on the early accomplishments of the state’s first nine land banks over the last two years.”New York Land Bank Association | Center for Community Progress | October 9, 2014

Syracuse Land Bank reports on progress in first year
“The Syracuse Land Bank has acquired 165 properties across Syracuse over the past year. Twelve have been sold or have sales pending; 21 are currently for sale; 26 are slated for demolition; and 57 are vacant lots.”
Ellen Abbot | WRVO Public Radio | March 12, 2014

Editorial: Smart tool to fight blight
“The Issue: Albany sets aside $1 million with its application to the state for a land bank.”
Editorial | Albany Times Union | April 6, 2014

Ohio

Cuyahoga Land Bank helps U.S. military veteran purchase Euclid home at greatly discounted rate“There was a popular song during and after the American Civil War which was sung on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line.”Leon Bibb | ABC Cleveland | May 23, 2014

$4.2M to help home demolition in Youngstown, suburbs
“The next 21⁄2 years will be a constantly spinning pinwheel of acquiring, demolishing and greening properties for the Mahoning County Land Bank until a $4,266,250 Neighborhood Initiative Program grant is exhausted.”
Robert Connelly, Kalea Hall, Emmalee C. Torisk | Vindy.com | April 13, 2014

Pennsylvania

First Dauphin County land bank rehabbed house hits the market““After acquisition by the Dauphin County land bank authority, it will be making history as the first property rehabilitated through the county’s new program to fight blight.”Barbara Miller | Penn Live | November 10, 2014

New Westmoreland County land bank cleans up blighted lots “Two abandoned houses in West Newton are scheduled to be demolished later this year, the first project of the newly formed Westmoreland County Land Bank, which has a mission to buy and eliminate blighted properties.”Debra Duncan | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | July 24, 2014

West Virginia

W.Va. gets high marks for tackling blighted properties “Alexander said the formation of the Huntington Land Bank and the work going on in multiple communities throughout West Virginia show the state’s commitment to being a leader in BAD property redevelopment.” Shane Arrington | Huntington Herald-Dispatch | October 9, 2014

And, Lastly, a Blight Bright Spot!

 

Koinania Homes Farm - Cuyahoga County, OH - Credit Cuyahoga County Land Bank - 2014

Koinania Homes Farm – Cuyahoga County, OH – Credit Cuyahoga County Land Bank – 2014

Land bank invites garden clubs to turn empty lots into green space
“The Cuyahoga Land Bank wants to see vacant lots bloom as community gardens, urban farms, pocket parks or orchards.”
Julie Washington | The Plain Dealer | February 26, 2014