Lessons from Recent Developments

Sunday, April 20, 2014

On Friday 4/11 more than 350 local people attended an auction run by the city for over 500 tax foreclosed properties. These folks spent more than half a million dollars to purchase these properties and will invest more than $5 million into these buildings to create roughly 700 new mostly low cost housing units through out the city. The most amazing thing about this is that it is all being done without significant public financing and no tax breaks. Meanwhile in Midtown sits the midtown tower. This building was recently owned by the city but they sold it along with three other parcels and a parking lot to Buckingham properties for $4 even though the city estimated its value at $700,000. Rochester has also given Buckingham properties $10.7 million and the state has found another $5 million. All this will create 177 apartments. While these are two very different types of property, it seems to me that one of these is a far better deal for Rochester than the other. While at the auction the city raised money, revitalized neighborhoods, stimulated investment, and created housing the others will cost a lot of money, get millions in tax breaks, and will create more vacant houses in our neighborhood. Perhaps there is a lesson here.


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...on Transforming Rochester on Rochester Free Radio. You can see when it's on at the Rochester Free Radio show schedule.

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