Before / After Photos
Upon acquiring a property, the Land Bank’s maintenance contractor evaluates the property, addresses any safety hazards, and documents its condition. Vacant properties are boarded if necessary and clean-up is ordered. Occupants are offered a lease or relocation assistance depending on the condition of the property.
Properties for Sale
Available Properties are listed on the Land Bank’s website. Homes are listed with real estate agents; you can visit these properties with your own real estate agent, who can gain access using the MLS lock box. Commercial properties are listed with brokers and advertised via Loopnet. Most vacant lots are only listed on the Land Bank’s website. Buyers must inspect the property and submit a detailed renovation budget with their offer (unless the property is move-in ready). The Land Bank may place additional requirements on certain properties or restrict what buyers may do with them, such as those homes included in the Home-Ownership Choice program. Visit the Properties page for more information.
Land Bank Programs
Side Lot Sales
In many instances the sale of a vacant lot to the owner of the property next door is consistent with the Land Bank’s disposition policies (although in some instances the land will be held for site assembly or new construction). When Side Lot sale is the best option, the Land Bank will offer the property for sale for a nominal fee.
Download a Side Lot Purchase Application. The Land Bank typically requires that the applicant combine the lot with their existing property through a re-subdivision (requires approval by the Planning Commission and a stamped property survey) prior to conveying title. Financial assistance for re-subdivisions and other improvements may be available through the City of Syracuse.Side Lot Application
Green Lots Leases and Green Lots Grant Program
We are now accepting applications for our Green Lots Grant program. You can lease a lot from the Greater Syracuse Land Bank for $1 a year and apply for up to $1,500 toward capital costs to start your community garden.* Green Lots Grants applicants and anyone wishing to start a community garden is strongly encouraged to attend Syracuse Grows’ annual meeting on Tuesday, February 7 at 6:00 PM at the Bob Cecile Community Center at 174 W Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse, NY 13205.
When putting together your proposal for a community garden we are looking for evidence that a large number of neighbors are interested in communally maintaining the property and working together on the garden and that it will not be used for for-profit purposes. Gardens must become member gardens of Syracuse Grows and complete soil testing prior to planting any food-producing plants on the property. The Land Bank will cover the cost of soil testing and Syracuse Grows can assist in procuring the testing, obtaining a hydrant key, and advise you on safe gardening practices in urban soils.
Applications for Green Lots Grants are due March 1, 2017 and grants will be awarded by March 7, 2017. Awardees should complete soil testing and begin prep work in time for Syracuse Grows’ April 22 Resource Drive when they deliver mulch, compost, and other supplies to their member gardens.
*Gardens that have received a Green Lots Grant from the Land Bank in the past are not eligible to apply.
Even without a Green Lots Grant, you can lease a lot from the Land Bank for a community-oriented purpose such as a community garden or shared recreation space. If you wish to lease one of our available Green Lots, contact our office for more information on the leasing process.Green Lots Program
Neighborhood-Based Lot Maintenance
The Land Bank will fund neighborhood-based organizations (such as churches and neighborhood associations) to maintain Land Bank-owned vacant lots in their area. Maintenance responsibilities include lawn mowing, brush removal, trash removal, and snow shoveling of sidewalks. Neighborhood-based partner organizations must agree to maintain a minimum of 15 lots except in special circumstances.
The Land Bank will partner with a limited number of neighborhood-based organizations in 2014 to pilot this project. Participation requires an incorporated entity to enter into a maintenance contract with the Land Bank. If your group is interested in participating in the pilot program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Katelyn Wright to schedule a meeting.
Volunteer Beautification Projects
The Land Bank stabilizes its vacant properties and maintains them in a manner intended to prevent further deterioration. We hope to facilitate their redevelopment as quickly as possible,but sometimes they may be held vacant for an extended period of time. If your organization or group of neighbors is interested in undertaking beautification of land bank-owned properties to improve the appearance of the neighborhood, please email email@example.com or call Katelyn Wright to schedule a meeting. Beautification projects typically include painting and landscaping.
Home-Ownership Choice Program
In order to promote home-ownership, the Land Bank will only accept offers on Home-Ownership Choice properties from buyers who plan to occupy the home as their primary residence or who will sell to an owner-occupant. The Land Bank’s lien against the property isn’t discharged until the property is renovated and owner-occupied. The listing notes for the property indicate whether it’s in this program.
The Land Bank requires all first time homebuyers to take a HUD-approved homebuyer education course. Most homes the Land Bank sells require some renovation. Many banks offer loans to credit-worthy applicants that cover purchase and renovation costs, including 203K loans and similar loan products. Home HeadQuarters offers these, as well, and in many instances some renovation costs may take the form of a grant for income-qualified buyers. Learn more about Home HeadQuarters’ financing available for Home-Ownership Choice houses.
Residential Renovation Energy Improvement Standards
When selling properties to be renovated for operation as residential rentals the Land Bank requires purchasers include the following work in their renovation plans. These measures are meant to retrofit existing residences for increased energy efficiency, reducing monthly utility costs and enhancing housing affordability.Energy Standards
Tenant to Home-Owner Program
Some properties are occupied at the time the Land Bank acquires them. Initially the Land Bank will offer a month-to-month lease to these occupants if the property is in acceptable condition. In most instances when the Land Bank plans to market these properties for sale, the occupant at the time of foreclosure will be offered the first opportunity to purchase the property. (Note: The Land Bank’s disposition policy prohibits the sale of properties back to the owner who was foreclosed upon for tax-delinquency or the immediate family member of the prior owner.) The Land Bank requires all first time homebuyers to take home owner education courses and to receive other financial counseling.
Stabilization and Renovation
When the Land Bank acquires properties, it will make preventive repairs in order to stabilize the structure and prevent deterioration. In some instances the Land Bank will renovate properties prior to sale in order to ensure that it has a mix of move-in ready homes available for purchase in addition to properties needing renovation. This enables the Land Bank to promote home-ownership to stabilize neighborhoods and to make sales at higher prices in order to help increase surrounding property values.
The Land Bank undertakes preventive maintenance to prevent properties from deteriorating and becoming demolition candidates, but some properties are beyond renovation at the time of acquisition. In all instances the Land Bank pursues architectural salvage prior to demolition. The Land Bank is currently engaged in a pilot program to test “deconstruction” as an alternative to demolition so that building materials are recycled rather than landfilled.
Land Assembly and Land Banking
In many instances, the Land Bank may attempt to assemble larger parcels of land before marketing them for sale, in order to accomplish more preferable redevelopment outcomes – for example, combining two vacant lots for new construction rather than selling just one to an adjacent property owner. The Land Bank may also assemble land for development partners in neighborhood revitalization or affordable housing, for conservation purposes, or for community-based uses such as gardens or parks. In some instances the Land Bank may engage in land banking and hold land for an extended period of time in order to develop a coordinated plan for the area’s revitalization, raise funds for special projects, and/or acquire additional nearby properties.