As Ryan Briggs reported in this article for WHYY, after the 2019 intensive overhaul of Philadelphia’s long-troubled land sale process, the City is finally selling off some of its 6,000 vacant parcels. While this is being lauded as progress, the … Continue reading
We are pleased to announce that this currently vacant parcel will soon be developed into new, productive housing in this burgeoning Francisville neighborhood. It took more than a year, but the deeds on these parcels have been cleaned up and … Continue reading
Property Address: 2629 N 12th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19133-1102
Property Owner(s): Bon Management LLC 421 Maplewood Ave Merion Station, PA 19066
Last Sale: 5/26/2010
Sale Price: $5,091
Taxes Owed: $0
Improvement Description: Row 2 Story masonry
Beginning Point: 197′ N Huntingdon St
Exterior Condition: Sealed / Structurally Compliant
Zoning: RM1 Residential/Residential Mixed-Use
Nearly this entire block is vacant. They are not only privately owned properties but also owned by The City of Philadelphia.
Most of the properties on the 2600 block of north 12th street suffers from fire damage.
Property Address: 3344 Conrad Street
Philadelphia, Pa 19129 – 1500
Property Owner: Brown Street Investments 127 Black Walnut Lane Plymouth Meeting, Pa 19462
Property Taxes: $14,674.52
Last Paid: 2007
This property is located in the East Falls area of Philadelphia. It’s looks like one thousand tornados hit this house.
I spoke with the neighbor and she said the property has been vacant since before she and her mother moved to the block and that was eleven years ago.
In 1999, this property was transferred from the Estate of Lawrence Major to Cynthia Thomas, the Administratrix of the Estate, for $1. The OPA website indicates an address in Bala Cynwyd for Ms. Thomas.
According to Philadelphia’s Revenue Department website, taxes have not been paid since the transfer. Taxes, interest, penalties, and other costs total more than $19,000.
Neighbors are concerned not only about the deterioration of economic value of their homes resulting from proximity to this property, but at least one near neighbor is concerned about the physical deterioration and dangerous conditions.
Talk about unintended consequences…with the controversy surrounding the Actual Value Initiative (AVI), the folks in City Hall are coming up with all manner of suggestions on how to collect those millions of dollars languishing in the City’s real estate taxes. As we all know, the tens of thousands of properties in Philadelphia contributing to blight are largely the same owing millions of dollars in unpaid real estate taxes.
At a legislative briefing yesterday attended by several Council members, several proposals to collect unpaid taxes were brought up, apparently some of which are already being discussed in City and Commonwealth chambers. Any reform in tax collections will necessarily address the blight problem, as tax-delinquent properties will as a result be sold and developed into productive real estate.
The most cogent of these proposals involves Philadelphia selling its tax liens. No, not the way it was attempted in the past, with a huge block of liens being sold to one buyer. That negotiated transaction is so typically Philadelphia. The deal didn’t work for a variety of reasons, depending on who you talk to.
Alan Domb, as astute and established as they come, made a very compelling argument for Philadelphia to begin selling its tax liens to private investors in an open auction, much the same as New Jersey and other states. Under this model, anyone would be able buy tax liens with a built-in investment return, and the market for Philadelphia’s old tax debt would very quickly be cleared.
Full disclosure: As someone who has bought and put into productive use many properties with ancient debt, I would be thrilled to buy old taxes, because there are so many properties encumbered with debt where the owners are so long gone even our researchers throw up their hands in hopes of ever finding someone to buy from.
Other proposals being talked about are less promising. Relying on the current collections companies to collect more taxes is pointless. These agencies can’t even find owners for the current properties, as doing so takes real research and ingenuity. Attempting to attach to investors other properties is equally futile, as anyone can hold properties in unrelated entities, making verification of ownership impossible. Relying on the Sheriff Sale process is, well, if you think the AVI calculation is clouded in secrecy, try to fathom how the Sheriff’s office operates. Enough said.
Tax lien sales is the only way to efficiently clear out all the old debt, and prevent a similar situation in the future.
We Support Jamie Moffett in His Efforts to Renew Kensington – You Should Too!
Kensington Renewal rehabilitates blighted houses and turns them into owner occupied homes. With national banks denying sub $50,000 mortgages, it makes it difficult for families to receive loans and become homeowners. As a result of this, there are many abandoned properties in the city. These abandoned homes become a source for violent and non-violent crime to thrive. It is proven that the lower the homeownership rate is the higher the crime rate will become. By Kensington Renewal rehabilitating these abandoned homes, criminal activity will drastically decrease.
Check out more and help KenzoRenewal win a grant to continue its work
Philadelphia, like many older cities, is faced with abandoned lots due to population loss. Since 1998, the City and OHCD have worked closely with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society PHS to clean and green vacant lots and transform them into neighborhood assets.
From a neighbor:
I have been living next to this eyesore for 6 years now with my husband. The owner, a man who we’ve spoken to numerous times, has refused to do anything with this property. Our neighbors have pled with him to sell it, fought with him to clean up the overgrowth year after year and even called him for animals being trapped in the property. Recently, we had vandals break into the property to steal copper piping. Frankly I’m surprised it took this long for people to break in. I credit the delay only to our diligent neighbors and the burden that watching this property has taken on them.
One such neighbor has taken this person to court a number of years ago but I’m not sure what if anything came of the legal action. I’m also not sure what recourse my husband and I have to make this person responsible for this property and its maintenance. My husband and I anticipate trying to sell our house at some point and our property value is perpetually diminishing with each day that this owner takes no action. I’d like to call L&I but know what a bureaucratic mess it can be sometimes. If anyone can give us any helpful information as to how we can get some results, we’d be extremely grateful.
Frustrated and Fed Up
This map is the Redevelopment Authority’s go-to site for anyone wanting to make an “Expression of Interest” to buy City-Owned property. It is not clear exactly how this effort will pan out and whether political influence is still required. The current system requires that anyone wanting to buy a vacant City-owned parcel would typically go to the Vacant Property Review Committee and present their case. Support form the Council member in whose district the property was located was essential to an approval from the VPRC.
Anyone out there have any success buying from the City?
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.
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.