Buffalo Spree Covers Buffalove Development’s Preservation Win!

Buffalo Spree Covers Buffalove Development’s Preservation Win! (<— Link!)

This is an exciting piece for us. It launches our newest purchase – a 1860’s brick cottage that we rescued from the brink of demolition. Jason saw it on the preservation agenda because they asked for a demolition permit – citing that nothing about it was historic. (What!?!?!) This 1860’s brick cottage is 1500 square feet of awesome. After a series of negotiations, the purchase price totaled $1. It has a new roof, a new furnace and it is gutted, exposing the brick and the 150 years of changes overtime. Even in its gutted state, it’s a beauty. Its layout is simple and its size is manageable. Unlike our other properties, this one will be our home!

Buffalo Spree will be doing a set of articles on this house, following our rehab process to explain how preservation and energy efficiency will come together to provide a rehab that is cost effective, forward thinking and inspiring for others as they venture through the rehab process! Thank you to Gwen Ito and the Buffalo Spree crew for covering this story.

You can check the article out here: http://www.buffalospree.com/Buffalo-Spree/January-2014/Developing-Radle-and-Wilson/

Vacant Lots in Philadelphia: Using Philly to Generate Ideas and Inspiration For Buffalo.

I have been reading a lot on the vacant land crisis in Philly and I feel that Buffalo could and should learn a few things about how other cities address vacancy issues . This blog post is concentrated on a few policy ideas Philly has implemented that we can learn from or use as inspiration.  (Note: Thank you to Jesse Kerns at Grid Mag who sent me a lot of Philly based information randomly because he knew I would love it!)

Vacant Lots in Philadelphia: Using Philly to Generate Ideas and Inspiration For Buffalo.

A little bit about Philadelphia. Philadelphia has approx.  40,000 vacant lots and about 75% of them are concentrated in one area – the north & south west of Philly. The City spends $20 million dollars on maintenance fees and have 2 million in uncollected property taxes.  Sounds a little like Buffalo, huh? (A smaller version, of course!)

You can read all the details on Philly’s vacant lot issue here: http://www.gridphilly.com/grid-magazine/2013/1/14/blights-out.html

While some may not think vacant land is important in preservation – it really is. Weedy, garbage filled vacant lots are a sign of neglect which can easily devalue an area. This leads towards more demolitions, increases in vacant lots and a decline in neighborhood stability. Instead of being a weedy lot, these spaces can be reused and transformed into powerful community spaces which helps to increase investment in existing structures, excite the neighborhood and stop demolitions.

Vacant lots can become simple community spaces. Providence, RI has turned this lot into a Bocce Ball Court!
Vacant lots can become simple community spaces. Providence, RI has turned this lot into a Bocce Ball Court!

Like Buffalo, Philadelphia has a high number of vacant lots and a system that struggles to keep up, making purchasing and reusing vacant lots very difficult. According to the Grid article above, In 2012, Philly passed the land bank bill as well as instituted a “front door” policy which gives vacant lots for $1.00 to adjacent home owners. Buffalo has both of these programs however, in my experience, the “front door” policy is not officially named or broadly marketed… and the land bank passed in 2011 doesn’t appear to be off the ground yet.

To bring it down to a personal experience, Jason and I have had an application into the City to purchase a lot next door to our house since November of 2012. We are told it is approved and going through the approval process. I am not even sure if the lot will be sold to us for $1.00 or $3,000 dollars… The process is a clunky one – acquisition of a city owned parcel requires several stops in city committees and many signatures to get the approval. Over the past year or so, the process has become a bit more cleaner and easier. It is important to remember that this is a  much needed process however, I am sure it could be refined to save time, money and energy.

Lastly, here is a link to an article showing the latest progress in Philly – an app that identifies vacant lots and a new coalition that has been formed to turn the vacant lots into green space. It is pretty neat! BYP is working on something sorta similar – www.preservationready.org is a website that identifies buildings at risk with a goal for people interested in the building to find information on it… however an app would be a great next step in identifying buildings, vacant lots.. etc. If we want these buildings and lots to be purchased and reinvested in – we have to find a way to make it easier to do so.


Graphic located in – http://www.gridphilly.com/grid-magazine/2013/1/14/blights-out.html

Donn Esmonde: New Blood is Saving Old Buildings

Thanks for the great coverage, Donn!!

New blood is saving old buildings

By Donn Esmonde | News Senior Metro Columnist

on June 13, 2013 – 11:49 PM, updated June 14, 2013 at 1:55 AM


They stood in protest last month in front of the old Bethlehem Steel administration building, trying in vain to stop the bulldozers.

They are battling to save the iconic Trico complex.

But a recent afternoon found Bernice Radle and Jason Wilson in front of a different sort of building: a vacant, gutted 1860s cottage on a tattered West Side street. Months ago, it was primed for demolition. Months from now, the two will call it home.

Welcome to the new face of preservation in Buffalo. It is not just about saving and resurrecting iconic structures. It is also about restoring – one house at a time – the older building fabric that weaves together neighborhoods.

Leading the charge are Radle and Wilson. Self-described “building nerds,” the WNY natives are a near-matching pair of bright, urban-enamored, hip-eyeweared 26-year-olds who mash the eagerness of a puppy with the commitment of a bloodhound. The young preservationist power couple – the generational descendants of Tim Tielman and Sue McCartney – are joined, philosophically and domestically, by a shared love of old buildings and Buffalo.

It was connection at first sight.

“When I met Jason,” Radle told me, “I was like, ‘Sweet, finally someone I can do this with all the time.’ ”

Here is what I think is sweet: Radle and Wilson are part of a loose network of local 20-somethings with a pro-urban, preservationist sensibility. From Trico to Bethlehem Steel, they are welcome reinforcements on the front lines. Beyond that, they are primed to pick up the baton for the next generation of battles.

The battles, as they see it, will be fought as much house-to-house in recovering neighborhoods, as in front of at-risk iconic buildings.

“The Martin House, the Guaranty Building, they’ve already been saved,” said Wilson. “Our generation is also looking at rebuilding neighborhoods.”

Radle has an urban planning degree and is a project manager for Buffalo Energy. Wilson, the director of operations for Preservation Buffalo Niagara, apparently has a genetic predilection. His parents’ first date was at the old DL&W Railroad Terminal.

“People my age are looking for culture, and Buffalo is the epicenter,” Wilson told me. “The amount of history here is what really drew me.”

The two helped to start Buffalo’s Young Preservationists, a loose, social media-knitted assemblage of about two dozen activists. Radle gauges BYP’s blossoming power not just by battles won, but in Facebook “likes.”

They are as much urban pioneers as preservationists. Group methods range from buying and fixing battered houses, to sealing endangered icons like the Broadway Theater, to – I’m not kidding – “heart bombs.” Volunteers cover vacant-but-salvageable buildings with paper hearts, to highlight their plight. To date, a handful have been saved.

“You have one success,” said Radle, “and realize you can get things done.”

They found their 1860s brick cottage on the city’s demolition list. They bought four other West Side houses last fall at the city’s foreclosure auction. All will be resurrected.

“Instead of a vacant lot,” said Wilson, standing outside his future front door, “we will save a bit of Buffalo history.”

And in so doing, find a home. Long may they stay.

email: desmonde@buffnews.com

Bicycle Sharing in Boston: Hubways, Bike Lanes and Sharrows, Oh My!

Bicycle Sharing is really taking off across the country – with NYC’s Citi bike coming online this month and Buffalo Bike Share on its way, I have been eager to use a bicycle sharing system and write about it.

I was just recently in Boston and had the opportunity to use their new regional “Hubway” bicycle sharing system. With Buffalo in the beginning stages of getting a Bicycle sharing program (Buffalo Bike Share!), I thought it would be good to discuss my bicycle sharing experience in Boston with all my fellow Buffalonians!

I am not going to lie, I was very hesitant to use a bicycle in Boston. I was worried about the offensive drivers, riding in a much bigger city and the organic, (often wacky, if you ask me) and seemingly directionless street grid. Lucky for me, my wonderful friend Helen is a year around bicycle commuter in Boston and she threw a helmet in my lap and made me try the bicycle share.

In Boston, it seems as if everyone rides a bicycle. There are bicycle lanes, locking racks and Hubway stations everywhere. Even where bicycle lanes did not fit, there were “sharrows” that indicated to the driver to share the road with bicyclists. There is even a well lit cycle track integrated within the MIT campus. Considering how cold Boston can be (similar to Buffalo!), I was surprised to see bicycles and bicycle infrastructure everywhere!

About Hubway:

For $12 bucks, you can have a three day pass to the Hubway bicycle sharing program. As a tourist or visitor, this is a great alternative to renting a bicycle, driving and parking, subway rides at 2+ dollars each and/or walking everywhere. The hubway stations are easy to understand and very accessible. The bicycles are comfortable to ride, pretty light weight and well taken care of.

There are “hubway” hubs every few blocks because they are designed for short trips – a 30 minute ride or less is covered under the $12 dollar charge. Anything over 30 minutes incurs additional fees that rapidly go up with every minute. Wondering why? The goal of any bicycle sharing program is short, quick trips – getting the bicycles and the people from one station to another. Considering the the majority of bicycle trips are under 2 – 3 miles, this 30 minute goal can be easily achieved!

Boston is a wonderful city to use a bicycle in. I am still surprised as to how fun and fairly stress free it was to ride a bicycle in such a big city… maybe it was my tour guide (thanks Helen!) but there’s no doubt that the bicycle infrastructure helped. For me,  using the Hubway allowed me to see so many areas of the city very quickly but also in great detail. It was fun to ride over bridges, along the water and see the downtown area. I felt like I took a city tour except I wasn’t in a bus – I  was on a bike. It was a fun experience!! One can only hope that Buffalo continues to get more bicycle infrastructure added to our streets so we can grow our bicycle culture. I am really looking forward to seeing how the Buffalo BikeShare program works out!

This article from Treehugger.com came online today really sums up the details and facts surrounding the bike share craze. Check it out!

Boston”s Hubway Bicycle Sharing Program has bicycle hubs throughout the City.
A view of Boston taken while bicycling down a riverview route that I cannot remember. Love the sailboats!
Here I am, happy as a clam in Boston because I am riding a Boston Hubway Bicycle.

Buffalo’s Success Stories Prove Reasoning For Rehabbing and Landmarking Trico.

Larkin-Exchange, 95 Perry, AC Lofts, Tri-Main, Art Space, Warehouse Lofts, Remington Lofts, UB’s M Wile Building. All of these buildings are historic daylight factories that at one time were vacant buildings that were on the brink of demolition – just like our Trico Plant on Goodell St.

Today all of these projects are our economic engines and success stories. They are our houses, our offices, our bars and restaurants. These are award winning projects recognized for preservation, sustainability and adaptive reuse from organizations statewide.

These projects have helped to cast a new light on Buffalo and inspire others to think positive about our Queen City. These once considered risky projects, have now spurred an incredible amount of spin off investment across the City. From comedy clubs to more downtown residential units, concert series to new retail and restaurants, we find ourselves in a new city – a rejuvenated Buffalo –  one that has a billion dollars worth of projects in the pipeline, increasing property values and more excitement than many have seen in decades.

Trico Plant # 1 is sitting in the best area of the City that is growing the most – our medical campus. We cannot ask it to be in a better location. It’s designated developer (the BNMC) has over one billion dollars of development in current and future projects. If anyone in this region has the money to rehab this building and create the spin off developments seen in the other projects, it is the BNMC.

Trico has a chance to become our next economic engine. In its current state it is a national landmark, making it eligible for 40% tax credits – something that only a few buildings mentioned above had the advantage of having. It’s unique, open floor plan makes it easy to reuse for several use types including office, residential and lab space – all three uses that the BNMC is in need of. It can also be used partially for a parking garage, which could alleviate issues in the Fruit Belt as parking becomes more stressful in that area.

Trico deserves to be a part of the resurgence of Buffalo. It’s bones are solid, its owner is financially capable and its location is perfect. Rehabbing and reusing the Trico building will help to add to our continued success as a region and help strengthen our City core.

Take a minute to write your common council member. Tell he/she to landmark this building on 4/30/2013. Use this letter, if you need a template. 


The Blissfully Ignorant in Buffalo

This is directly from the Preservation Exchange blog written by Derek King, a new Buffalonian who fell in love with Buffalo because of our buildings, people and unique spaces. This article is powerful. It gives hard facts and speaks volumes about the overall importance of preservation and the value it brings to our economy.

You can read it here or read it below.

The Blissfully Ignorant in Buffalo

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”
-Aldous Huxley

You would think that Buffalo understands what is possible with preservation. You would think that with the successes of Shea’s Theatre, Hotel Lafayette, and Larkin Square, people would finally recognize that preservation is not the antithesis of progress. You would think that with so much wonderful architecture, Western New York would have some pride for the buildings that define this city.

You would think that, right?

A recent article on Buffalo Rising highlighted many of the region’s attitudes toward preservation, aired through comments on a WBEN Facebook Status that asked, “Do we try to save too much in this town?”

The response was overwhelmingly negative, and David Steele’s juxtaposition of the commenters’ callousness against photos depicting the city’s historic architecture is powerful and infuriating.

Photo Courtesy of The Buffalo News

It is infuriating not because of an “us/them” dynamic, but for the simple lack of informed opinions, replaced with vitriolic condemnation of preservationists as “stuck in the past,” or “stopping progress.” It is infuriating because it is not just an uninformed public, but elected officials like Lackawanna Mayor Geoff Szymanski, who allow local treasures to be destroyed and repeat the same misinformed ideas about preservation.

Rather than point any fingers however, preservationists should stop relying on emotional and ideological appeal to drive their argument. The historic nature and the aesthetic beauty of these buildings is clearly not enough to convince the people of Buffalo that its architecture is worth saving.

So, let’s lay out the facts: preservation IS progress.

Don’t believe me? Here are some points you may consider:

1) Historic Preservation Creates Jobs:
How many jobs does a demolition create? Would it create more work than a project that requires plumbers, electricians, carpenters, contractors, window specialists, roofers, and painters? Studies from around the country have proven that preservation related work creates more jobs than nearly any other industry in the country, including some of our nation’s staples. In Michigan, $1 million in building rehabilitation creates 12 more jobs than $1 million in car manufacturing. In West Virginia, that $1 million creates 20 more jobs than coal mining, and in Oklahoma, $1 million worth of building rehabilitation is 29 more jobs than pumping oil.

This is because labor accounts for 70% of the cost of historic rehabilitation. Unlike manufacturing, which can move its production to wherever a cheaper workforce is, historic preservation is limited to the labor near the buildings being rehabbed, meaning that a large portion of money spent on these projects stays within the community. Between 2009-2010, 145,000 jobs were created merely through rehabilitation projects that utilized tax credits, not even counting projects that did not pursue any federal assistance. Those same tax-credit deals have generated over $6.2 billion in income as well.

This invariably leads to one of the next most vocal complaints, that historic preservation is a “tax-payer money trap,” but, if we actually look at the numbers…

2) Historic rehabilitation tax credit programs actually increase tax revenue.
The same 2011 Rutger’s study found that between 2009 and 2010, Federal and State tax credit programs allocated $1.5 billion in tax credits, and received $1.6 billion in tax revenue.  Between 1978 and 2011, the federal government’s allocation of $23.4 billion in tax credits has resulted in $90.4 billion dollars in economic activity, creating over 2 million jobs the last three decades.

In 2011 alone, the historic tax credit program created 64,000 jobs, 23,000 of which were in construction and 15,000 of which were in manufacturing. The program lead to $1.2 billion of investment overall to construction, and $1 billion to manufacturing, accounting for $3.7 billion overall to the GDP, and $2.7 billion in income.

But, since this is a federal program, it must be bloated and inefficient, no? Well…

3) Historic preservation is one of the most effective economic development tools there is.
Dollar for dollar, no program is more efficient than historic preservation. Since 1981, 1,600 communities have revitalized their downtowns using “Main Street” principles of preserving historic nature of the neighborhood, investing $16.1 billion. The 89,000 building renovations led to 56,000 new businesses, and 227,000 new jobs, largely because every dollar of public investment lead to $40 of leverage for private funds (Federal and local funding help investors secure more loans from banks, who have more confidence in the financial tenability of the project). As a result, the amount of public investment per job created is only $2,500, compared to the $50,000-$100,000 for other publicly funded programs.

This efficiency goes right back to point #2: if the government subsidizes these programs, how can they be making profit? As a former Philadelphia Mayor Edward Randell noted however, “$1 million rehabilitation expenditure would cost the Treasury $200,000 in lost tax revenue, it would at the same time generate an estimated $779,478 in wages. Taxed at 28%, the investment would produce $218,254 in federal tax revenue.” Not only does it create jobs, but it actually increased total tax-revenue.

As many anti-preservationists say, “preservationists should put their money where there mouths are,” but I’ll take that one step further: municipalities should put more money into historic preservation funding, because…

4) Historic Preservation is Sound Public Policy
This is not just because of the aforementioned job-creation from downtown-revitalization projects, but because the current model of sprawling suburban neighborhoods, moving further away from the central core, and continuing to neglect our already-built housing stock, is unsustainable.

For many, “sustainable” has become a dirty word, associated with hybrid-driving hippies and hipsters, but it is not just environmental sustainability we should be concerned with, but economic sustainability. Did you know that new-construction actually contributes 31.5 million tons of construction waste annually? Often containing hazardous materials, this represents almost 24% of the country’s total municipal solid waste, and contributes to the shortage of available landfill. Disposal costs for construction and demolition in the Northeast now ranges between $60 and $140 per ton, and is even being shipped across the country to find available space.

Since 1950, the urbanized area around Buffalo and Niagara Falls has grown three-fold, but the population has remained the same. This is unsustainable growth, and the patterns around the country already show how this kind of development is harmful to public expenditure. Sprawl requires infrastructure, including roads, sewer and water, firehouses, and schools, and the Urban Land Institute estimates that the cost of suburban development is 40 to 400 times greater than compact urban development. The cost of roads around Baltimore will be in excess of $3.6 billion by 2020, and Minneapolis-St. Paul is expected to spend $3.1 billion on water and services by 2020.

There are many arguments for continuing the sprawl outwards, including that these houses will last longer than historic structures, but…

5) When it comes to life expectancy, energy efficiency, and cost-effectiveness, sometimes Old is better than New. 
The life expectancy of a new building is between 30 and 40 years. The hardiness of 100 year old buildings means, properly maintained, they will last at least that long, if not longer. Part of this is the stronger building materials, but it is also connected to better building practices, including load-bearing walls on the exterior rather than the interior of the building that carried a majority of the weight. Historic buildings often have thicker walls, not only making them more expensive to demolish, but actually giving them excellent thermal insulation.

Demolishing a historic building doesn’t make much sense, even it is being replaced with an environmentally friendly and energy efficient new build. The cost to demolish one 2-story masonry building in a Washington neighborhood is equal to the entire environmental benefit of 1,344,000 recycled aluminum cans, not to mention the landfill issue noted above that comes with it. Without demolition, a rehab project for a commercial building will cost between 12 percent less to 9 percentmore than a comparably sized-new build, but for a new-build with demolition, rehabs would cost between 3 and 16 percent less. Even when demolition costs are factored, they are often underestimated: the fact that a building is old does not mean that it will come down easily. These buildings were designed to last.

This post is merely an introduction to help clarify some of the glaring misinformation regarding historic preservation. These five points summarize a handful of ideas from Dovovan D. Rypkema’s book “The Economics of Historic Preservation. The book details 100 points in total, and I have excerpted quite liberally from points #1-14, 22, 39, and 81-84. Dozens of other sources repeat the same things, however, including Rutgers Third Annual “Economic Impact of the Federal Historic Tax Credit” report published in 2012. This post doesn’t even address the benefits for tourism, the misinformation regarding historic districts, or community participation, all of which make historic preservation even more important to consider.

The facts are out there, but more pertinent should be the examples around us. The rehabilitation of Hotel Lafayette has triggered a series of investments downtown, including this planned mixed-use adaptation of the Rand-Tishman building. The money pumped into the enormous Larkin Complex has lead to a thriving concert and event venue (Larkin Square will be hosting a St. Patrick’s Day event this Friday, March 15th) as well as precipitated the development of other buildings nearby, like 500 Seneca. The iconic Grain Elevators were the site of the inspirational and exciting City of Night last September, and have dozens of examples around the world of how they could be utilized.

The facts are there, but perhaps that doesn’t matter. Perhaps the same people who cheer when an iconic building gets destroyed simply don’t care what the facts say, preferring to be blissfully ignorant than accept that anything “old” could be a part of progress.

That choice is fine for someone commenting on a Facebook status, but not for elected officials who control the future of their cities and towns. Buffalo, Lackawanna, and Western New York deserve better leadership, because while it may be okay for internet commentators to continue living in ignorance, blissful as it may be, it is unfair to damage this region’s future when you don’t know the facts.

Written by Derek King, Architectural Historian at Preservation Studios. 

Heart Bombs in Buffalo, NY

We made hearts on a Sunday morning.
We heart bombed 5 buildings.
We got heart bombed by the National Trust with Cupcakes.
We made local and national news – Design Sponge, Curbed.com and Buffalorising.
We got inspired and inspired others.

I can’t stress this enough…. BYP is a group of dedicated people who listen, love and do for the City of Buffalo. Our heart bombs have begun to inspire others to show a little love to their favorite buildings in Buffalo and across the nation. Neat, huh? We are determined to change the way preservation is viewed and make people realize that preservation is progress and an economic engine for our City.

Overall, the event was a super success! Now we have to work hard to get these cuties back online and out of the Vacancy Vortex.

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The Community Congress for One Region Forward: Tuesday, January 29 from 7-9 p.m. at Asbury Hall

The Community Congress for One Region Forward

The Community Congress for One Region Forward

If you are of the belief that key issues such as “improving mobility, promoting more efficient land use patterns, strengthening our basic infrastructure, growing a 21st century economy, assuring broad access to healthy food, protecting housing and neighborhoods, and mounting our region’s response to the challenge of global climate change” should be addressed now, then it’s time to join public and private sector organizations as they attempt to draw a roadmap outlining Buffalo’s Regional Plan for Sustainable Development.
One Region Forward is made possible thanks to a two million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The federally recognized document is important in that it allows the community to become part of the process. As Federal funds are allocated in the future, toward community priority projects that encompass the guidelines of sustainability practices, Buffalo must be on track with planning efforts and development potential. “We’re not starting from scratch,” Howard A. Zemsky, chair of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, a leading partner in the effort, and co-chair of the Regional Economic Development Council, said. “Our commitment is to make sure that all the plans for our region are working toward the same ends.” Playing off of a number of significant development initiatives that have proved successful in Buffalo as of late, organizers hope that these forums will incorporate and enhance Regional Economic Development Council strategies, as well as the “Buffalo Billion,” the Buffalo Green Code, and others (including more than 160 regional, municipal, and special purpose plans throughout Buffalo Niagara).
Our business community, local organizations and individual citizens must lend their ideas and visions, so that we can help to manipulate our future by having a strong unified voice with diversified components. Consider lending your voice to this regional discussion. “We’ve read all of these plans and abstracted a series of statements about what values are common across them – statements about economic development, parks and recreation, transportation, housing and neighborhoods, climate change, water resources, food access, and more,” continued Shibley “It will be up to citizens participating in the Community Congresses to tell us whether or not we got these right,” Shibley added, “and how we have to change them if we didn’t.”
*Help frame the values and set the direction for a two-county plan for sustainable development. The first event is Tuesday, January 29 from 7-9 p.m. at Asbury Hall (aka “Babeville”) in Buffalo. The second is Saturday, February 2 from 2-4 p.m. at Conference Center Niagara Falls. To learn more about the effort, check out www.oneregionforward.org and please register.
Based on this direction from the general public, detailed implementation strategies will be developed by a series of working teams on land use and economic development, housing and neighborhoods, transportation, food systems, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. A subsequent Community Congress will review these strategies later in 2013. Further work will produce a Regional Plan for Sustainable Development, a document that will give our region priority status for funding opportunities today and into the future.

Heart Bombs!

Anyone have any suggestions on places we should heart bomb this year?

The Criteria: it has to be vacant, rehab ready and ready for love.

Email me. berniceradle@gmail.com

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Officially On The Real Estate Market: City Owned Residential and Commercial Properties

Things have begun to change for the better in the Dept. of Real Estate in City Hall.

Christie Nelson, the new Director of Real Estate has officially put several City owned residential and commercial properties up for sale to the public.   The houses have for sale signs, they have been appraised and are now publicly listed for all to see. Right now there are 20 residential houses and eight commercial city owned properties on sale.  Considering the very limited resources to maintain the city owned properties, this is a very promising start.

For a list of all the residential properties, click here.

For a list of all commercial buildings for sale, click here.

If you are interested in learning more about the process of buying, check out the Department of Real Estate Website here.  The process of obtaining these is not an easy one however, for $5,000 – $10,000 dollars, you can essentially have your self a house with good bones, some historic character and a blank slate to make it what you want. Below are a couple of photos pulled from the residential listings found online.

This is a great step in the right direction for the Real Estate Department. Every house that is sold is one that is not demolished. The faster we can get these houses out of the hands of the City and into a private, local owner, the better. Let’s hope these opportunities go to local people who are ready, willing and able to rehab these structures and bring them back to life. You can read about a couple who are going buying a City Owned Property here. While the process has been long, the end result will be well worth it.

240 Timon Berkshire Front Exterior Berkshire Kitchen Berkshire Living Room Winslow