March 2014 City Owned Property List

205 Broadway Newburgh NY

The City of Newburgh published yesterday the March 2014 list of properties that it owns. It is 49 pages long. The list includes everything from vacant land to crumbling structures to beautiful historical homes. The Monell Mansion still has not sold and unfortunately is back on the list. This home on 205 Broadway is available. The exterior maintains historical details but the original porch is missing. You can find out more details about it in the book, “Newburgh: The Heart of the City” by Patricia A. Favata page 58.

Buying a city-owned property comes with challenges. If you would like help, consult this guide made by city residents: Helpful Notes to buy Newburgh city owned property. Perhaps the city will start publishing on a monthly basis the properties it owns?

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8 Comment

  • WOW this is a travesty!! How could the City be holding this many mostly vacant and derelict Buildings; creating more blight, potential for rodents, litter and additional decay in and around these properties.
    This is not an “asset’ to the community as many would think, but rather a hindrance.
    If my property looked like these, or was left like these, i would be fined or have it confiscated. This is another example of how Newburgh is left to be swallowed up by paralysis and despair.
    Give these properties to Homeowners residing in the City of Newburgh for $1.00 per so that we can revitalize this City, not wait for another wave of Real Estate speculators to come in and create another level of low income housing that burdens the Tax Base and adds to more entrenched poverty!!!

  • “Give” ? The issue is that there are no ‘takers’. Given the current tax rate, financial, economic and social stability of the city, any new owner would be a ‘speculator’ by default. At the most recent City Council meeting, (50:08 min. in)
    Councilman Brown alluded to a new ‘City’ program of ‘rent to own’. Details were not indulged at the meeting and to date there is no information on the City’s website,that I could find. As such, is this program that is administered by the ‘City’ legal and, if so, will the taxpayers of the City of Newburgh be the ‘backstop’ in assuming the risk of loss associated with the ‘City’ taking the role of ‘speculator’? Where will the resources come from to bring and maintain these properties up to spec prior to and during the rental phase? That said, I’ll take an optimistic view without knowing the structure of the program; Perhaps the program would have some merit if, and only if, the ‘renter’ be required to place a monthly monetary allowance into an escrow account equal to that of the real world carrying costs of home ownership (i.e.taxes, insurance, etc.) and maintain the property for the duration of one year in addition to accumulating funds sufficient to cover a 20% down payment.
    Regardless, is it necessary to have the ‘City’ operate a program that essentially does what millions of responsible people have done for centuries… work, rent and save ?

    • I don’t understand why the city is spending time focusing on ‘rent to own’ schemes, and such, when we are one of the few lucky cities to have a PROFESSIONAL LAND BANK that can handle the transactions, have successfully sold more properties than the city has in an equal amount of time, and have a recent state grant to get the program off the ground.

      I don’t understand why the city thinks they are in the real estate business at all! There are multiple professionals in the business more adept at handling these sometimes complicated transactions.

      I don’t understand why we, the collective taxpaying citizens of Newburgh, who, in effect are the true owners of these properties, are subject to paying the tax bills on these properties while they remain vacant, while a few in the city make choices as to whether or not to sell a property, and at what price.

      Do most of the readers here know that over the past 3-4 YEARS there have been at least 2 bona fide offers on the Monell mansion? Yes, the citizens, including our Mayor Judy Kennedy, got together and helped clean up the outside of the property a few YEARS back. And there have been offers. And they have not been pursued, and in fact, actively rejected, and the property could have been back on the tax rolls months ago.

      I try very hard to maintain a positive attitude, and volunteer time, and invest in the city, because I believe that it is a unique and valuable place, with excellent people. The role of the city government is to do the best job of taking care of the infrastructure, and maintain order, and pay attention to the reality of living here.

      The businesses and real estate sales take care of themselves when there is a clean and orderly foundation.

      • Agree, interestingly enough, I remember the Mayor making a comment at one of her first City Council meetings in support of the Land Bank to the effect that the city is not in the real estate business. Indeed, it is an error to assume government can, with it’s monopoly municipal and taxation powers, reign their creation of new debt to figures less than the growth of income.
        They’re pushing on a string now as the city does not have the ongoing revenue in order to wait out the time necessary for the benefits of any revitalization effort to come to fruition. Remember, the ‘City’ is still servicing its’ debt. That borrowing simply enabled spending to exceed income during the period. Whatever was borrowed may have raised consumption in the present but it also reduced it for the future as some of the income earned cannot be spent because it must be used to service the prior debt. A few weeks back the City Comptroller commented on Moody’s positive credit assessment of the City of Newburgh. The council was elated. I took it as a ‘red flag’ and foresee a ‘rollover’ or more debt in the future. Credit is not revenue.
        As per the Monell mansion; in lieu of a buyer of means, auction off the building’s architectural elements. A cash and carry transaction, the successful bid entails the removal of any element. This may sound drastic but that building has maybe a year or so before restoration is no longer a viable option.

      • A real professional land bank is more than just a real estate agent. Citing its sales record in its short period of existence- as something that operates better than our incompetent city government- is naive- as is citing a grant awards as an indication of competency. As we- those who’ve been around more than 10 years- have witnessed, grants have few strings of accountability for the money- and just as rarely are there intended results. But since you went there: why would this money be used to destroy historic sidewalks- that have existed for 150 years- replaced with cheap concrete that will need replacing every 10 years? (BTW, the bluestone was absconded after it was irresponsibly left unsecured in a parking lot. More of the same stupidity.) Why would crosswalks be installed on a block that has NO crosswalk traffic- in the middle of a block no less? Why would a fledgling organization spend a large amount of money renovating a building for their own office space when the city has plenty of empty space? Why was $300,000 of our CDBG funds used to raze 3 measly buildings- so that the lots could be handed to the Land Bank- without compensation back to our CDBG pool? (Not to mention the reward of the contract to a former tenant of the mayor’s?) If the city is too incompetent to manage its properties, why aren’t they too incompetent to improve properties for the Land Bank’s sake? Why isn’t the money going directly towards stabilizing and securing buildings that are losing their integrity daily? New roofs, asbestos and lead abatement and maintenance/upkeep should be priority number one. Triage and coordinated assessment. Instead the money is going to think tanks, useless (secret) maps, salaries to people who have no expertise in needed issues, aforementioned short-sighted “improvements” and cozy office space. The promised improvement in codes enforcement has so far been just talk with some ignorantly prioritized spot enforcement of minor infractions. Meanwhile, one of the “advantages” of land banks is to erase/stop the school/county taxes that are assessed on the properties when the city takes ownership. All that does is shift the burden further on those of us still on the tax rolls. The city was curiously competent under a good city manager that delved out properties to people like Drew Kartiganer- someone who very successfully took complete shells and went above and beyond to provide affordable housing in beautifully restored historic buildings. And the partners that renovated- again, above and beyond- the Washington Market(where Cafe Macchiato is located) building. Lobbying for a competent city manager that would have the foresight and build a team to make such things happen would be far more effective than inventing yet another layer of government- with more visionless salaried “professionals”. What we just witnessed with the latest city manager appointment is a secret process- a secret process actively defended by our new ward (“more representative”) council. (Ironically, we were able to peruse the new city manager’s resume in a news article about a job he rejected in another city- where the press publicly published EVERY city manager candidate’s resume.) The failure of the city to manage its properties is the direct result of bad management- appointed by an idiot council, not of its potential to do so with the tools it already has. The land bank movement is just another scam to privatize governmental responsibilities and divert taxes- via grants and tax abatements- into private hands.

  • Some clarification as per the payment of back taxes on the purchase of ‘City owned property as the issue was brought up at the last City Council meeting . According to the City’s ‘Helpful Notes’, “Properties can carry significant back property tax bills that the buyer must pay along with accrued late penalties upon closing.”

    According to the City’s attorney this stipulation does not apply if the property purchaser is a new 3rd party buyer. The stipulation does apply, however, if the transaction is one of a repurchase by a previous owner after a tax foreclosure.
    1:46 into the video…

  • That is a very good explanation by Michelle Kelson, and clarifies that the properties being purchased by third parties when they are tax foreclosures. It was not made clear to all.

    From this city council meeting, it appears as if it is up to the city and the council to determine on a case by case basis. That was very unclear in the PODA and this information was not made clear when preparing the document trying to clarify the PODA instructions.

  • Why the confusion? The explanation is lucid and based on statute. By not being “made clear to all” is indicative of a lack of codification. The interpretation was obscured and should not have been documented as such.
    The condition that “it is up to the city and the council to determine on a case by case basis” requires jurisprudence as it invites interrogatives of conduct.