Schenectady Land Bank Sells First Property

Schenectady Land Bank Sells First Property

Schenectady’s Land Bank today announced the sale of its first property at 1006 Strong Street to a family that will own and occupy the property.

Mayor Gary McCarthy said, “The Schenectady Land Bank is officially open for business. With funding from the County and NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, we can use the Land Bank as a key part of our HOMES Program to help improve Schenectady neighborhoods.”

Robert Hoffman, Chairperson of the Schenectady Land Bank and a member of the Schenectady County Legislature said, “We hope to repeat this success many times over as the Land Bank gears up its effort to help revitalize Schenectady neighborhoods.”

The Land Bank received title to the Strong Street property from Deutsche Bank National Trust Company last July. The two-family home was in foreclosure. Deutsche Bank generously donated the property to the Land Bank and provided $15,000 to offset carrying costs. The Land Bank was made aware of this property after registering with the National Community Stabilization Trust Donation program, where banks make foreclosed properties available to community revitalization organizations.

The Land Bank held two open houses at the Strong Street property. Interested buyers had to agree to purchase and renovate the property and live in the renovated home for at least five years.

The new owner of 1006 Strong Street is a current City resident living with his parents in the Central State Street neighborhood. He will move with his family to Strong Street after renovating one of the units. The property was sold for $5,000 and the new owner has agreed to complete renovations within one year.

The Land Bank will use proceeds of the sale to help fund other home renovations and selective demolition projects in Schenectady. The Land Bank has a funding commitment of $100,000 from the County over the next two years plus $150,000 in grant dollars from the Attorney General. Metroplex is currently working with the Land Bank to make major improvements to the Eastern Avenue corridor. The Land Bank is eligible to apply for additional funding from the Attorney General’s office later this year.

The Land Bank next transaction is the purchase of 870 Eastern Avenue, a vacant and blighted building that is adjacent to the former Latimer’s Tavern, another blighted building in this area. The Land Bank is working with Metroplex, the Eastern Avenue Neighborhood Association and the City to acquire three properties in this area to create green space and perhaps a new entrance to Vale Park.

Steve Strichman, Executive Director of the Land Bank said, “We are pleased to be moving ahead with the Strong Street and Eastern Avenue projects working closely with our partners at the City, County and Metroplex. We appreciate the ongoing support of New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for our Land Bank here in Schenectady.”

The Mayor’s HOMES Program is designed to make Home Ownership Easy in Schenectady. The program includes marketing vacant and for sale property, financing for home buyers, home repairs, façade upgrades in commercial corridors and other efforts to improve the quality of life in City neighborhoods.