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Re: New ideas for eyesores - City moves to identify abandoned properties
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Someone should look at #4 Mercer St, near the corner of Marin Blvd. This thing is about to fall down. I think somebody tried to do a gut re-hab and then gave up.

It's looked abandoned for over 6 months....no work at all.

Posted on: 2007/2/7 14:09
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Re: New ideas for eyesores - City moves to identify abandoned properties
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Tell me about it i would love to read more.

Posted on: 2007/2/6 23:12
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Re: New ideas for eyesores - City moves to identify abandoned properties
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This reporter needs to dig a little deeper, there is a good news story here.

Posted on: 2007/1/29 0:09
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New ideas for eyesores - City moves to identify abandoned properties
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New ideas for eyesores
City moves to identify abandoned properties

Ricardo Kaulessar -- Hudson Reporter -- Jan 28

If an abandoned three-story apartment building has become an eyesore for all the neighbors, can the city do anything if it's privately owned?

Jersey City is looking to fix that problem with its recent establishment of an "abandoned property list" and an officer with the responsibility of identifying all abandoned properties.

The purpose of the list is to identify abandoned properties, then get control for rehabilitation and reuse if the owners aren't able to do so.

City Housing Code Enforcement Officer Ed Coleman was designated as the officer in charge of creating the list, which will include block and lot numbers, the street address, owner of property, and reason for designating property as abandoned.

Coleman reports directly to the director of Department of Housing, Economic Development and Commerce (HEDC), Barbara Netchert every six months about the status of the properties listed. Netchert in turn will report directly to Mayor Jerramiah Healy.

"This is a mechanism that cities can use to get these buildings back into contributing to their cities," said Netchert. "[The properties will be] back on the tax rolls, back as homes for people who need places to live, which improve their neighborhoods."

State law was signed

In January of 2004, Gov. James McGreevey signed into law the "Abandoned Properties Rehabilitation Act," helping municipalities to gain control of abandoned properties to get productive use of them.

The act sets down criteria on how municipalities should define abandoned properties.

The building must have been vacant for 6 months. It also must meet one other condition such as: The need for rehabilitation; possessing nuisance conditions; or having tax delinquency. It applies to both buildings and vacant lots.

It also calls for various means by which municipalities can take hold of abandoned buildings such as special tax sales, accelerated foreclosures, and the ability to petition the court for possession.

Owners get a chance first

But before a city or town can get control of an abandoned building, the court has to give the opportunity to the owner and any holders of tax liens on the property to demonstrate they will carry out renovation in a timely fashion.

If the owners aren't able to do the renovations, then the municipality can seek compensation from the owner and embark on renovations.

According to Netchert, the HEDC was hoping to get the list started late last year after the City Council approved the concept in November. But with the holiday season and other business, it was only this month that work began.

Netchert said getting this list done is a "priority" set down by Mayor Jerramiah Healy.

Netchert said that abandoned properties can be sold at auction to developers, but also to non-profit groups for possible affordable and low-income housing.

Healy offered comment by e-mail through his spokesperson, Maria Pignataro, stating the goal of rehabbing abandoned buildings is to "ameliorate the multiple negative effects that abandoned properties have on the areas surrounding them, and restore the properties to productive use."

Pignataro also said that research provided to the mayor's office done about a little over a year ago found that "at least 140 abandoned properties" exist in Jersey City.

She said the majority are located in an area bounded by Communipaw, McAdoo, Garfield, and Bergen avenues.

Ricardo Kaulessar can be reached at rkaulessar@hudsonreporter.com

Posted on: 2007/1/28 19:51
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