The Troy Vacant Properties Workgroup — created at a TNAC (Troy Neighborhoods Action Council) meeting two years ago — met on February 8th to share updates of recent activities and agree upon this year’s priorities. One of our goals has been to intervene in a vacant building’s “death march to demolition” through early attention and enhanced marketing. We believe that a modest investment in a building can result in a higher purchase price and increased owner-occupancy than the auction process has. Consequently, the Workgroup recently testified at a CDBG hearing, urging the city to consider implementing our Pilot Stabilization Project. This involves selecting five recently vacant buildings, buttoning them up, and marketing them in conjunction with the area’s neighborhood group.
Steps to improve the marketing of vacant properties is already improving. City Council President Lynn Kopka (and member of the VP Workgroup) and the city have taken the initiative to clean out some of the city-owned vacant buildings with help from the sheriff’s work crew. Furthermore, to ensure that prospective purchasers know the condition of the buildings before bidding on them, the city will show buildings upon request from interested buyers.
The Workgroup looks forward to working on other proposed activities such as:
- Researching Land Banks, a new concept in NYS due to recent legislation, to learn about the benefits to Troy. New to the idea of landbanking? Aren’t familiar with the term? Visit http://esd.ny.gov/BusinessPrograms/NYSLBP.html to learn more.
- Analyzing Troy’s vacant property data in order to develop a variety of strategies to address this complicated issue.
- Searching for solutions to theft (especially of copper) from vacant properties.
- Increasing owner compliance with the city’s Vacant Property Registry through more promotion of it
- Seeking best practices and innovative solutions in effect elsewhere
It will be a busy and productive year for the Workgroup! If you’re interested or concerned about any of the issues facing us, please feel free to join us at our next meeting. It will be held at the TRIP building (415 River St) on March 7th at 6pm. For more information, contact Claire @triponline.org