3748 N Palaski Street

Thanks for the reader submission, but the address submitted, 3748 Palaski Street, does not exist in Philadelphia. There is a Pulaski Avenue, but no address 3748.

Please, readers, be sure to get the address right.  You can always check an address at the City’s Office of Property Assessment site, found HERE.  Once on the site, you will see much useful information about the owner, when the property last sold, and the current taxes.

Wonder What Vacant Property the City Owns?

Well, wonder no more. This is another piece of fantastic work by PlanPhillly and Patrick Kerkstra.

City’s “Front Door” Cracks Open

At last, the city’s enormous inventory of mostly vacant surplus land is being made available online for would-be buyers.

The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority’s “Front Door” – essentially a database and map of the city’s property holdings, coupled with a streamlined sales process – has been in the works for over a year and a half. Some of it goes live today, albeit in a limited form, on the PRA’s website.

The initiative – which won’t be formally launched until next month – represents the Nutter administration’s most notable achievement to date in Philadelphia’s long-running fight against blight.

There are an estimated 40,000 vacant parcels in Philadelphia, empty lots and abandoned buildings that depress property values, mar neighborhoods and pose safety risks. Of those, more than 12,000 are owned by city-related agencies.

Before the Front Door, would-be buyers of those city owned lots were forced to navigate a confusing bureaucratic thicket of city land-holding agencies with conflicting policies and agendas, without the benefit of a written rulebook.

Now, the Nutter administration contends, developers, non-profits and average residents will be able to easily submit applications to purchase city owned vacant properties through the PRA’s Front Door. And the entire process will be governed by a new policy document (which has been previously reported on by PlanPhilly).

“What’s different about this (policy) is that it exists. There are no policy documents that exist right now for the disposition of land certainly none that are consistent, none that are comprehensive,” said Bridget Greenwald, the new commissioner of the city’s Public Property department.

Check out the map and more here:  City’s “Front Door” cracks open | PlanPhilly: Planning Philadelphia’s Future.


2746 N. 19th Street

From the Philadelphia OPA: http://www.phila.gov/revenue/RealEstateTax/Default.aspx?txtBRTNo=111221500

Owner – Gertrude Sayles

Real Estate Tax Balance Information

Year Principal Interest Penalty Other Total Lien#
2000 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
2001 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
2002 $331.49 $278.46 $23.20 $137.57 $770.72 L020100211
2003 $331.49 $248.62 $23.20 $132.20 $735.51 RL00013967
2004 $331.49 $218.79 $23.20 $126.83 $700.31 RL00126125
2005 $331.49 $188.95 $23.20 $121.46 $665.10 RL00234964
2006 $331.49 $159.12 $23.20 $116.09 $629.90 RL00346226
2007 $331.49 $129.28 $23.20 $110.71 $594.68 RL00496416
2008 $331.49 $99.45 $23.20 $105.35 $559.49 RL00600415
2009 $331.49 $69.62 $23.20 $99.98 $524.29 RL00695720
2010 $331.49 $39.78 $23.20 $94.60 $489.07 RL00847133
2011 $331.49 $9.95 $9.94 $42.28 $393.66 RL00996159
2012 $288.25 $4.32 $0.00 $0.00 $292.57
TOTALS THROUGH 03/30/2012 $3,603.15 $1,446.34 $218.74 $1,087.07 $6,355.30
Property Characteristics
Land Area: 828.64 SqFt Improvement Area: 1110 SqFt
Improvement Description: ROW 2 STY MASONRY Beginning Point: 274’4″ N SEDGELY AVE
Exterior Condition: Average Council District: 08
Note: Please send zoning questions regarding a property change to: philly311@phila.gov.
Please direct all other zoning questions to: zoningrm@phila.gov.
Zoning: R10A Zoning Code Description: Single Family Row and Twin
Certified Values for 2012 Sales Information
Market Value: $18,300 Sales Date: 2/15/1996
Assessed Land (Taxable): $1,376 Sales Price: $1
Assessed Improvement (Taxable): $4,480
Assessed Land (Exempt): $0 Tax Information
Real Estate tax: $552.34
Assessed Improvement (Exempt): $0
Total Assessment: $5,856

4914 Pentridge Street 19143

According to the public records:

Owner: Frank Williams
Taxes due: $18,199
Last paid: 1985

This property was conveyed to the current owner in 1985 for $1 by Earl D. Springer, legatee under the Will of Raymond E. Springer . It appears taxes have not been paid on this property since it was conveyed.

According to Zillow, there is activity in this neighborhood. See Zillow report here.

For information about this or any other topics concerning abandoned and/or vacant property in Philadelphia, contact Abandoned Philadelphia at (215) 592-9595 or vacant@abandonedphiladelphbia.com.

PlanPhilly: Should city bank on land bills that finally lay down the law?

We are certain any effort by the City will have its challenges, and we are not sure this it the right approach, but it seems the current slate of City Council members are serious about doing something to correct the problem.

Ordinances introduced in City Council by Maria Quinones-Sanchez and Bill Green are designed to fix Philadelphia’s broken land management systems by creating one focused new agency, a land bank, and give it the authority to acquire tax delinquent properties as it chooses.

via – PlanPhilly: Should city bank on land bills that finally lay down the law?

The Bad Neighbor Inititative

Bobby Henon is serious about fighting blight:

Bad Neighbor Initiative

Councilman Bobby Henon will engage in an aggressive education campaign to remind everyone in the 6th District that we need to be partners in the fight against blight and other quality of life issues. The goal will be to educate our community about the law and to encourage offenders to comply.

The Bad Neighbor Inititative.

Henon to Absentee Landlords: “We’re Coming After You.”

Henon Goes After Absentee Landlords

Councilman Bobby Henon, who replaced Joan Krajewski in the 6th Dist. two months ago, told a state committee meeting this week in Northeast Philadelphia he’s ready to wage war against absentee landlords and negligent property owners.

Henon testified at a Democratic Policy hearing chaired by State Rep. Mike Sturla (D-Lancaster) and Kevin Boyle (D-Northeast). The hearing was held Tuesday to examine issues dealing with absentee landlords and negligent property-owners at CORA Services in Bustleton.
“If you are renting illegally, then the message is simple: Enough is enough,” Henon said. “We need the tools to go after these illegal rentals – so if we catch a landlord who fails to comply, they will get time.”
Henon told the panel he will introduce legislation in City Council that will wage a campaign directly against negligent homeowners and absentee landlords. Henon said he will use every tool the City has to go after absentee landlords.

In the next several weeks, Henon plans to wage a public campaign against absentee landlords.

Henon said the legislation would include increased fines. Good, responsible landlords, he said, will be recognized. But bad ones will be punished. Any landlord with three or more code violations will be contacted directly, Henon said.

“We are not just talking about one-time fines,” Henon said. “Every day should be a fine. Landlords with three or more code violations will be contacted directly. We will put it in letters to newspaper editors, and in advertisements – whatever it takes.”

Henon said 65% of the calls he has received since he took over the 6th Dist. are directly related to absentee landlords. He said his office staff has generated the data, along with a list of owners who have been directly affected by absentee landlords.

Boyle, who had requested the hearing, said the surge in real-estate opportunities in the “middle-class base of Philadelphia” from New York-based property owners is part of the reason Northeast Philadelphia is plagued by absentee landlords. “This is a quality-of-life issue, and an economic issue,” Boyle said.

For the same price single building in New York would cost them, investors are able to buy numerous properties in Northeast Philadelphia. “In the past, a rental landlord from the suburbs owned one or two properties here, but now landlords from New York have 15-20 properties – it’s out of control.

“We need to get on the ball and deal with this issue,” Boyle said.
A host of individuals joined the panel to testify in the 5-hour discussion, including James White, policy coordinator, Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corps.; and Joseph DeFelice, president of Mayfair Civic Association.

via Henon Goes After Absentee Landlords | Philadelphia Public Record.

2746 N 19th Street

Submitted by an anonymous site visitor.

According to the OPA, this property is owned by Gertrude Saylus and William Walker.  Gertrude Saylus bought it in 1992 and in 1996 transferred it to herself and William Walker. Taxes show unpaid since 2001 and total more than $6,000.

NorthStar Point Breeze LLC – NSP Program Attempts to Fight Blight

Under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, a Federal program to renew urban areas, the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority is administering the program in certain Philadelphia neighborhoods.

One of the developers involved in this program is NorthStar Point Breeze LLC, which is developing six new homes for sale to qualified buyers.  Unlike other NSP developers, NorthStar bought the lots from private owners.  These lots had been sitting vacant for years accruing taxes, liens and generally detracting from the neighborhood.

Take a look at the progress at the NorthStar Point Breeze website.

2330 Saint Albans Place

This is the block where the movie “The Sixth Sense” was filmed.  It is generally a beautiful, historic block with stately homes and a mix of longtime residents and transplants.  This property is an eyesore to the block and community.

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6396 Drexel

Not quite sure if this is abandoned, but this once-grand home in Overbrook Farms was submitted by a local who observed the “scaffolding” and otherwise decaying nature of the facade.

Cleaner, greener and healthier

By Eugenia C. Garvin

Mayor Nutter recently announced a crackdown on neglected properties, noting the economic and environmental consequences of blight. But new research suggests that such properties can also affect the health of a neighborhood’s residents.

The study published this week focused on more than 4,000 vacant city lots that have been cleaned up and planted with grass and trees under the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Vacant Land Stabilization Program. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found there were fewer gun crimes in neighborhoods where lots had been “cleaned and greened.” Some residents also reported experiencing less stress and exercising more.

The idea that cleaning and greening vacant lots improves health makes sense to me as a physician. Exercise is important for cardiovascular health and weight management. But people may not exercise in neighborhoods where they don’t feel safe. And abandoned, overgrown, trashy lots are magnets for crime.

Besides encouraging exercise, greener surroundings can reduce stress and mental fatigue. Green space may also serve as a common meeting place for neighbors, building social ties that are also important for health.

I recently interviewed some West Philadelphia residents about the impact of vacant property in their neighborhoods. Those living near blighted properties talked about drug-dealing, prostitution, and other illegal activity happening on and around those properties. Many described seeing used needles and condoms in places where children might play. Vacant lots also encourage illegal dumping and attract raccoons, opossums, mice, and other animals.

Beyond the physical health implications, all of this is toxic to residents’ mental health. The people I talked to said the vacant property in their neighborhood made them feel scared, sad, and angry. “It makes you question where you call home,” one said. “It’s a downer.” Feelings like these lead to chronic stress, which can contribute to heart disease and other illnesses.

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s greening program was previously shown to increase the value of nearby property. That it also appears to improve residents’ health and safety makes greening an even more attractive means of dealing with vacant land. In fact, other cities are already looking to Philadelphia as a model for addressing such properties.

The Nutter administration, which is also working to revamp the management of city-owned vacant properties, should be applauded for its efforts to aggressively and creatively deal with a problem that has plagued the city for decades. And going forward, health and safety should be part of its rationale. Managing vacant land is not only an economic development priority, but also a strategy for making Philadelphians safer and healthier.


Dr. Eugenia C. Garvin is a physician and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation clinical scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. She can be reached at garvin@upenn.edu.

Cleaner, greener and healthier | Philadelphia Inquirer | 11/18/2011.

Philadelphia cracking down on owners of rundown properties

Philadelphia cracking down on owners of rundown properties

By Miriam Hill

Inquirer Staff Writer

Standing outside a blighted property in Port Richmond, Mayor Nutter declared war on people who neglect vacant buildings and lots.

“Let me put all property owners on notice right now,” Nutter said. “Philadelphia residents should not have to put up with this kind of crap. If you’re not being responsible, we’re going to come find you.”

At a Wednesday news conference, the mayor announced a three-part strategy to address vacant properties, widely considered one of the city’s largest and most costly challenges.

Nutter plans to:

Identify owners of vacant, blighted lots and buildings.

Begin fining them $300 a day for each window and door not up to code, meaning they must be usable and not boarded up.

Take owners who do not comply to Municipal Court’s new “blight court,” which can force them to fix their properties or pay the fines. The court has muscle because of a state law passed last year that lets the city go after owners’ personal assets if they don’t comply.

via Philadelphia cracking down on owners of rundown properties | Philadelphia Inquirer | 10/27/2011.