City and County Land Banks significantly impact local economies
According to a recently released report by Greater Ohio Policy Center, in the past five years, the Columbus Land Redevelopment Office and Central Ohio Community improvement Corporation (COCIC) have generated $180 million in economic impact in Columbus and Franklin County communities. The land banks work together to help create stronger, safer neighborhoods by obtaining and managing blighted properties and creating redevelopment opportunities.
“Land banks have had a tremendous role in improving and strengthening neighborhoods. Not only are they ridding the neighborhoods of blighted properties and returning them to productive use, they are making an economic impact because the investments are improving property values in historically disinvested neighborhoods,” said Development Director Steve Schoeny. “Columbus makes up about 80 percent of the County, and collaboration is critical to the success of the program.”
“The land banks have done an excellent job identifying abandoned, tax delinquent and stranded properties in Franklin County and working to find solutions – whether demolition, rehabilitation, or new construction – to get these properties back into productive use, and back on the county tax rolls,” said Franklin County Treasurer and COCIC Board Chair Cheryl Brooks Sullivan. “The land banks bring real value to Franklin County in the form of tax generation, preservation of residential property values, affordable housing, and business development opportunities.”
The report states that the land banks have made significant strides in improving and revitalizing distressed neighborhoods. The achievements include:
- $90 million in protected home values from demolition of nearby blighted structures
- $7.8 million in direct land sales
- $442,000 in property taxes collected from former land bank properties in 2017 alone
- $80 million in new private and non-profit investment on vacant lots or blighted, abandoned structures
- $3.3 million in grants and loans awarded to local non-profit partners
The land banks have impacted communities by using more than $38 million with funds from several sources including the State of Ohio, for demolition of more than 1,600 vacant and blighted properties; reuse of 1,300 properties for rehabilitation, gardens or new construction and financed over 100 residential rehabs, emergency stabilizations or new builds.
Since 2012, vacant properties have decreased by 40 percent in Columbus neighborhoods and the land bank has seen increased sales for both structures and vacant lots in areas such as the King-Lincoln District on the Near East Side, the South Side and Franklinton. Outside Columbus, the land bank demolished over 750 blighted and vacant apartment units near the Hollywood Casino, which is spurring private investment in the area.
For Immediate Release
March 20, 2018
Cynthia Rickman, Department of Development, 614-645-8795 (direct); 614-266-2146 (cell)
Curtiss Williams, Central Ohio Improvement Corporation, 614-724-4938; (direct) 614-554-6179 (cell)