Philadelphia’s Land Bank

One stop shopping. That is the goal of the bill that Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter signed into law on January 13, 2014, creating the Philadelphia Land Bank. The Land Bank, which is to be fully operational by the end of this year, is intended to streamline and consolidate the process by which the City acquires and sells vacant and tax delinquent properties. The Land Bank will also act as the single repository for the approximately 9,500 vacant and surplus properties currently owned by the City through three separate entities: the City, the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority and the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation

The centralizing of properties under the roof of a single entity should make it easier for buyers to purchase land for single lot development and to assemble multiple tracts for larger projects. While the Land Bank should simplify what was a complicated and confusing process, there will still be a process. 

Here are some of the high points of the new law: 

  • The Land Bank can acquire property by donation, gift, purchase or any other legal means, including by tax sale.
  • The sale of every property by the Land Bank must be approved by the Board of Directors of the Land Bank, the Vacant Property Review Committee (“VRPC”), and City Council.
  • The Land Bank Board is comprised of eleven members of varying professional backgrounds, five of whom are appointed by the Mayor, five by majority vote of City Council and one by majority vote of those ten members.
  • The VRPC, whose chair is appointed by the President of City Council, will consider for the properties proposed for disposition at the public VRPC meetings.
  • The Land Bank will maintain an up to date inventory of property it owns, and has sold, on its website.
  • The Land Bank will hold monthly public meetings, and the agenda for those meetings will be available on its website 10 days prior to the meeting.
  • The Land Bank can request that the City certify, for upset or judicial sale, a property that is both vacant and delinquent as to municipal taxes. Individuals or organizations can make applications to the Land Bank requesting that the Land Bank seek such a certification from the City for a property.
  • Subject to the prior approval of the Finance Director, the Land Bank can discharge liens and municipal claims, charges or fines against the properties it acquires.
  • During the time it holds a property, the Land Bank can exempt that property from real estate taxes, water and sewer charges.
  • Individuals can request notifications from the Land Bank when the status of a property has changed.
  • Applicants seeking to purchase property from the Land Bank must provide certification from theDepartment of Revenue that it has no tax or water delinquencies, and that all properties owned by the applicant are in compliance with the Philadelphia Zoning Code or are subject to an agreement to come into compliance.
  • Properties to be sold by the Land Bank will be posted, and public notice given, at least 10 days before the sale, and RCOs whose registered geographic area of concern contains the property will also receive notice.
  • Reconsideration of decisions of the Land Bank may be requested.
  • The Land Bank may sell properties for less than fair market value in certain circumstances.
  • The Land Bank may attach conditions to the sale of a property, such as by deed restriction, restrictive covenant or mortgage.
  • The Land Bank must prepare an annual strategic plan showing, among other things, the areas in which it will look to acquire properties and for what purpose.
  • The Land Bank must also prepare an annual performance report listing, among other things, all properties held or reserved for an applicant and how long that hold period will last.
  • The initial Board members of the Land Bank, until permanent members are appointed, are Michael Koonce, Brian Abernathy, Herbert Wetzel, Jennifer Kates, Courtney Voss, Rick Sauer, Bill Salas, Majeedah Rasheed, Ken Scott, Don McGrogan, and Paul Badge.

Alfred R. Fuscaldo is a Director in the Gibbons Real Property & Environmental Department.

With 230 attorneys, Gibbons is a leading law firm in New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, and Delaware, providing transactional, litigation, and counseling services to leading businesses nationwide. MORE

Neighbor Submitted Blight – 2617 South 61st St.

Property Address: 2617 South 61st Street Philadelphia, PA 19142

Property Owner: Eddie Morris 6237 Elmwood Ave Philadelphia, PA 19142

Outstanding Taxes: $10,924.55 to date.

Last Paid: 2006

Southwest Philly has been pouring in with blight. This two story row home has been vacant for half a decade. As you can see the condition isn’t the poorest but this property could use a new landlord. We don’t have any eyes on the inside, but with the taxes paid and some renovations done to the exterior this could be a beauty. What do you guys think ?


Neighbor Submitted Blight – 2338 South 72nd Streeet

Property Address: 2338 South 72nd Street Philadelphia, PA 19142

Property Owner: Rachid Salahdine & Aikaterin Skokotas 663 Aronimink PL Drexel Hill, PA 19026

Outstanding Taxes: $0 to date.

Last Paid: 2013

This property stands next to our most recent post also on 72nd street. Located in Southwest Philadelphia this small property has been vacant for over 5 years. All though taxes are up to date, this property can use a lot of work on the exterior and interior as well. What do you think the best use of this property could be ?


Neighbor Submitted Blight – 2340 South 72nd St

Property Address: 2340 south 72nd Street Philadelphia, PA 19142

Property Owner: Ollie Paytner

Outstanding Taxes: $7,568.34 to date.

Last Paid: 1998

This large property is located in the Southwest section of Philadelphia. This 2 story 1600 sq. feet is in solid shape on the interior, no eyes on the interior as of now. With some slight renovations and a bit of landscaping this could be an amazing property to own. How does it look ?


Neighbor Submitted Blight – 2615 N 13th St

Property Address: 2615 North 13th Street Philadelphia, PA 19133-1121

Property Owner: Anette Logan

Outstanding Taxes: $1,920.01 to date.

Last Paid: 2011

This diamond in the rough is located in North Philadelphia. This 3 story property located on the corner has the potential to be numerous uses of space. Would you live here, or start your business here ?


Neighbor Submitted Blight – 2613 N 12th Street

Property Address: 2613 North 12th Street Philadelphia, PA 19133

Property Owner: Eugene Cooper 2503 West Oxford Street Philadelphia, PA 19121

Outstanding Taxes: $5,136.08 to date.

Last Paid: 2002

Nothing official on the cause of this vacancy. From the looks of the outside, it seems to have taken quite a bit of fire damage. This property is located in North Philadelphia in a heap of abandoned properties. Do you see the same potential as we do?


Neighbor Submitted Blight – 2603 N 12th ST.

Property Address: 2603 North 12th Street Philadelphia, PA

Property Owner: Ebony Decarlo 4122 Brown Street Philadelphia, PA 19104

Outstanding Taxes: $3,449.78 to date.

Last Paid: 2002

This beautiful North Philadelphia row home is in good condition. Currently owned, but has not been properly managed or nurtured. What would you do with this in your possession ?


Neighbor Submitted Blight – 305 North 54th Street

Property Address: 305 N 54TH ST Philadelphia PA 19139-2005

Property Owner: Abdul King

Outstanding Taxes: $29,035.18 to date.

Last Paid: 1978

This Property is ranked in the top of our list of “outstanding taxes”. For over 3 decades, this property was in
possession of various slumlords. Another great property in West
Philadelphia that was not giving the opportunity to reach it’s


Neighbor Submitted Blight – 2613 N 12th Street

Property Address: 2613 North 12th Street Philadelphia, PA
19133 Property Owner: Eugene Cooper 2503 West Oxford Street
Philadelphia, PA 19121 Outstanding Taxes: $5,136.08 to date. Last
Paid: 2002 Nothing official on the cause of this vacancy. From the
looks of the outside, it seems to have taken quite a bit of fire
damage. This property is located in North Philadelphia in a heap of
abandoned properties. Do you see the same potential as we do?


5516-22 Haverford Avenue

Property Address:5516-22 Haverford Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19139-1431

Property Owner(s): Patrick & Rosalind Bailey
6032 N American Street Philadelphia, PA 19120

Taxes Owed: $15,855 last paid in 2012

This 21,640 SF Apartment building was purchased on December 12, 2011 for $1. Judging by the purchase price, this may have been acquired from a relative.

The building is sealed and suffers from fire damage. Safety violations have yet to be resolved.

What should the City do about this? More Violations?


Neighbor Submitted Blight – 307 north 54th street

Property Address: 307 N 54TH ST Philadelphia PA 19139-2005
Property Owner: Sonny Turner Outstanding Taxes: $15,909.19 to date
Last Paid: 1998 Wow! Do you guys see how much this property owes in
taxes? To better our city it’s time to attack this blight and get
these slumlords out of here. With a few renovations, a little
paint, and the right owner, this property could easily be the
perfect fit for a family. What do you think ?


Neighbor Submitted Blight – 2603 North 27th Street

Property Address: 2603 N 27TH ST
Philadelphia PA 19132-3103

Property Owner: Kemodine Williams

Outstanding Taxes: $4,125.20 to date.

Last Paid: 2000

This property sits on it’s lonesome beautifully in North Philadelphia. It almost doesn’t look vacant, but this home is desperately waiting for occupation. Judging by the exterior of it, it doesn’t seem to need much work. But maybe with a slight clean up this baby will be up and running.


Neighbor Submitted Blight – 5511 Haverford Avenue

Property Address: 5511 Haverford Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19139-1432

Property Owner: S Town Properties LLC 5511 Haverford Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19139-1432

Delinquent Taxes: $3,502 since 2008

This property was purchased on March 29, 2009 by S Town Properties LLC for $6.000. It sits in West Philadelphia across from address 5508 (more on this property later).

I am not sure what the interior looks like but judging the exterior this property isn’t in desperate need of attention. However, it can definitely use a makeover and occupancy.

Is this area upcoming like other sections of West Philadelphia? Please comment, I would love to know what is going on?


Neighbor Submitted Blight – 3861 Brandywine Street

Property Address:3861 BRANDYWINE ST Philadelphia PA 19104-2309

Property Owner: POWELL BLANCHE INC (Building Contractors)

Outstanding Taxes: 1998-2005 a balance of $4,990.20 is owed. From 2006-13 taxes have been paid.

Last Paid: 2013

This Property in West Philadelphia has potential to be a great home with renovations. What do you think ?


Neighbor Submitted Blight – 3801 Haverford Ave.

Property Address: 3801 Haverford Ave Philadelphia, Pa 19104-1823

Property Owner: Kevin J. Wright 2025 Fitzwater Street Philadelphia, Pa 19146-1332

Outstanding Taxes: $4,188.22 to date.

Last Paid: 2007

This property is a beautiful piece of work isn’t it ? Currently vacant, this West Philadelphia property has great potential to become a storefront. What business would you start here ?