Originally published in the Albany Times Union - By Dylan Rossiter
The Albany County Land Bank acquired 265 tax-foreclosed properties in the capital city this month, the largest addition in the not-for-profit's three year history.
The organization improves and resells vacant and abandoned property in an effort to reverse the effects of blighted property on communities.
Land bank officials will inspect the buildings and decide what work needs to be done before they're put up for sale. The organization often cleans out properties, stabilizes structures and even demolishes buildings all together.
About 50 percent of the recently acquired properties have some form of a structure on them, while the remaining 135 are vacant lots, land bank Director Adam Zaranko said.
The land bank closed on 313 properties this year, amounting to about half of the total acquisitions made since its 2014 founding.
Properties are sold only to buyers with a plan to put buildings to productive uses that support community goals.
In February, the land bank's board of directors authorized the sale of 15 vacant properties to qualified buyers, the most approvals the organization has ever made in one month.
The 15 properties were located in Albany, Cohoes, Watervliet, Berne and Colonie, and ranged from small side lots to a mixed-use commercial building.
First-time home buyers, adjacent property owners and local investors were approved for new construction, building rehabilitation and open space preservation.
To view properties for sale, go to the land bank's website, http://albanycountylandbank.org.