The Albany County Land Bank acquired 265 properties, bringing the total number of foreclosed, vacant and abandoned properties it owns to 640.
It marks the largest number of properties the Land Bank simultaneously acquired since the Land Bank formed in 2014.
“Acquisition is the first step to returning vacant and abandoned properties to productive use,” said Adam Zaranko, executive director of the Albany County Land Bank Corporation. “Once we acquire these long-vacant properties, we can begin our work to reverse the harm they are causing our neighborhoods and communities.”
In January, the Land Bank acquired 48 properties in nine towns throughout the county.
Once acquired, Land Bank officials evaluate the condition of each property to determine an appropriate course of action to bring the property back to productive use. Options include clean out, structural stabilization or demolition. The Land Bank then looks for buyers for the properties who have plans consistent with municipal and/or community goals. The Lang Bank can also hang onto the properties to “increase real estate development opportunities or facilitate local economic development efforts.”
The Albany County Land Bank uses funding from state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Albany County and the City of Albany.
To date, Albany County has committed $1.75 million. Of the 640 properties the Land Bank has acquired, it has made more than 120 property improvements and enabled more than 75 properties to return to productive use. It has invested more than $2 million into stabilizing neighborhoods, incentivized more than an $2 million in private investment and enabled the return of more than $1 million of assessed value back to the tax rolls.
“The County’s support for the Land Bank is paying off as the Land Bank has leveraged $4 million to stabilize neighborhoods and return distressed properties to productive use,” said Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy. “This latest acquisition will help the Land Bank continue its mission of rebuilding neighborhoods and reducing blight in Albany County.”