Effort Targets Blighted Properties

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An Indianapolis nonprofit has launched an effort designed to market city-owned properties to potential buyers. Renew Indianapolis' plan includes a new community land bank and website to promote available properties.

January 9, 2014

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. -- Renew Indianapolis, a not-for-profit that returns abandoned and blighted properties to productive use, this week will launch a new system for marketing city-owned properties to potential buyers. The two centerpieces of the new effort are:

A not-for-profit, community land bank – which will serve as the front door to the city’s existing land bank – and will catalog city-owned abandoned homes and properties and market them to buyers who want to help rebuild Indianapolis neighborhoods; and

RenewIndianapolis.org, a new streamlined and transparent website to help promote available properties and to connect with potential buyers.

Founded in 2010 as a not-for profit organization, Renew Indianapolis partners with the City of Indianapolis and several community and neighborhood development organizations.

Over the past year, it researched and studied the nation’s most innovative community land banks and designed a new system for Indianapolis that will bolster city’s land bank.

"Renew Indianapolis will be the front door to city's land bank, with a new process that is open, professional and transparent and will help educate potential buyers about these available properties" said Adam Thies, director of the Department of Metropolitan Development. "More importantly, it will continue our efforts to rebuild and revitalize our city’s neighborhoods."

Transparency & Accountability. Rather than selling properties to the highest bidder, Renew Indianapolis will seek buyers whose projects would do the most good for the neighborhood and complement existing neighborhood efforts.

What’s more, all potential buyers must sign a project agreement, which will include a timeline for development activities, a list of improvements to be made to a property and corresponding benchmarks. Finally, all final decisions will be discussed and voted on in public meetings of the Metropolitan Development Commission, with opportunities for neighborhood comment.

Neighborhood input. In addition, Renew Indianapolis will require each potential buyer to notify the respective neighborhood association where the property requested is located. Notification will include the names of the parties applying to purchase the property and specifics about the redevelopment plan.

"We are happy to work with the city to implement this new website and process to better find buyers for abandoned homes and properties," said Katy Brett, executive director of Renew Indianapolis. "By involving neighborhood residents in these decision will help make for a better project for the buyer and the neighborhood."

Source: Renew Indianapolis