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Capital Region Land Bank to receive $2 million grant

Capital Region Land Bank to receive $2 million grant

Funds will help pay for demolition of blighted properties
Capital Region Land Bank to receive $2 million grant
Demolition of 720 Crane St. in Schenectady in May 2017, carried out in partnership with the Capital Region Land Bank.
Photographer: Marc Schultz/Gazette Photographer

SCHENECTADY -- The Capital Region Land Bank is in line for a $2 million grant to continue its neighborhood revitalization efforts, according to an announcement Friday.

The $2 million grant is administered through Enterprise Community Partners. The state Legislature passed a law in 2011 establishing land banks, following the collapse of the housing market.

The goal of the non-profit banks is to buy up vacant, abandoned or foreclosed properties and rebuild, demolish or redesign them. The program was begun with $33 million from a settlement of a lawsuit filed by then-state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman against the nation’s largest banks. The lawsuit was related to the housing market's collapse.

The $2 million grant announced Friday was approved by state Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood, according to a press release.

The Capital Region Land Bank has partnered with Schenectady County, the city of Schenectady and the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority to demolish more than 160 blighted buildings, improve dozens of homes and create new housing options, according to Friday's announcement.

“We have more investment headed to Schenectady County neighborhoods than any time in recent memory,” said Capital Region Land Bank Chairman Richard Ruzzo in a prepared statement. “Over $60 million in new investment in our neighborhoods is complete, and we have over $80 million in development.”

Capital Region Land Bank Executive Director David Hogenkamp said the new funding would help pay for the demolition of blighted properties "proximate to the planned $24 million revitalization of Yates Village."

"Another project focus will be implementation of the $19 million Renaissance Square development on Eastern Avenue, as well as Hillside View Phase II, a planned $40 million investment in Hamilton Hill," Hogenkamp added.

The Land Bank is administered by Metroplex and serves Schenectady County and the city of Amsterdam.

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