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City of Pittsburg Land Bank Encourages Redevelopment - KOAM TV 7

City of Pittsburg Land Bank Encourages Redevelopment

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PITTSBURG, KANSAS -

The City of Pittsburg Land Bank is now open for business, this week releasing a website with all of the properties for sale. It's a way to redevelop unused land in the city.
Spread throughout the city of Pittsburg are vacant lots, abandoned buildings, and dilapidated houses. On Broadway Street, a gap where the Knights of Columbus hall used to stand, destroyed in a fire 5 years ago.
“We've been looking for a suitor for our property for some time since we built a new hall over by the church,” says Tom Hayes with the organization.
The organization donated the land to the city's new Land Bank.
“The city has a need for it, they can either market it, use it for green space, bring in more business so we thought it was a great opportunity for us to relieve ourselves of the property and also give the city an asset,” says Hayes.
The Land Bank is made up of more than 30 properties now for sale.
“This just one tool that we have in our tool belt for how to address housing and neighborhood development in Pittsburg. So this Land Bank allows us more flexibility than we would have if we were operating under the City Commission and it allows us to be more strategic,” says Director of Housing and Community Development for the city Becky Gray.
The purpose of the Land Bank is to bring a productive use to vacant or under used lots. Each person who buys a parcel will sign a development agreement so that the City can ensure the land won't go to waste.
“We just really want to make sure that it’s going to come to fruition and be better than what it was before,” says Gray.
Some properties will be redeveloped into housing but there are opportunities for community gardens, parks and new businesses. The intention is not for the City to make money but to choose the best and most productive use of the property.
“If somebody has a very creative neighborhood building idea for the parcels, we would let them go for less than market rate,” says Gray.
Redeveloping land and shaping the future of the city.
To see the properties in the Land Bank visit http://pittsburg-ks.opportunityspace.org/.

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