Land bank works to revitalize neighborhoods
January 11, 2019
PITTSBURG, KS – The City of Pittsburg is ramping up its efforts to improve properties in Pittsburg. With the help of the Pittsburg Land Bank, the City is continuing to turn blighted, vacated and underused properties into new opportunities for businesses, homebuilders and developers.
The City of Pittsburg established the Pittsburg Land Bank in 2015 to convert vacant, abandoned, tax-delinquent and otherwise neglected properties into productive use. The land bank strategically acquires problem properties that destabilize neighborhoods, create fire and safety hazards and drive down property values, and transfers them to new, responsible owners in a manner that results in outcomes consistent with the City’s revitalization efforts.
“The land bank is a means to address blight in our community,” says City of Pittsburg Community Development and Housing Director Quentin Holmes. “It’s a tool the City can use to improve neighborhoods and improve our housing stock.”
The land bank also provides an opportunity for landowners who no longer want their properties or cannot afford the maintenance required to keep them in good condition. Because the land bank is a not-for-profit entity, landowners receive an added tax benefit.
“The land bank could be a way to solve a problem that a property owner may not know how to resolve. In these cases, we can eliminate a financial burden on the property owner and redevelop the property for future use,” says Holmes.
The City of Pittsburg Land Bank currently manages 39 commercial and residential properties, and expects to receive six more this year.
Holmes says nine land bank properties were sold to new owners in 2018. This year, he hopes that number goes up.
“Vacant properties do not aid in our City’s revitalization efforts,” he added. “Abandoned buildings and vacated lots are a drain on our local economy, and they don’t benefit the community. By selling these properties to new owners, we can increase property values and make them ready for redevelopment.”
The City has posted “for sale” signs in land bank lots around the city to advertise to potential buyers. Anyone interested in purchasing a land bank property can contact the Community Development and Housing Department at (620) 230-5550. A list of land bank properties is also available on the City of Pittsburg website at www.pittks.org/landbank.
The mission of the City of Pittsburg is to provide exceptional services, facilities and activities with integrity, professionalism, excellent customer service and a commitment to economic vitality.