urban development

Gino Geruntino/WRVO file photo

Over the years, as businesses in Utica left or closed, the city has faced a problem of what to do with the empty buildings. In recent years, Utica has ramped up its efforts to sell these vacant commercial properties in an attempt to generate sales and property tax revenues for the city.

Since 2012, the city has sold at least eight vacant commercial properties to private developers, including a former Superfund site that was dormant for more than a decade. The buildings, which must be empty for at least three years before the city can foreclose on them, are scattered throughout Utica. Fourteen properties are currently being marketed by the city's Urban Renewal Agency.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Declining populations and shuttered factories have left rustbelt cities - like Buffalo or Rochester - with numerous vacant and abandoned properties. They can be old homes, former warehouses, or out-of-favor shopping centers.

Municipalities face the challenge of how to get those properties back into productive use.

More collaboration is needed between the several efforts under way to revitalize upstate New York's "legacy cities," says a report released this week by a public affairs institute.

Boston Public Library / via Flickr

A long-closed historic downtown Syracuse building may have a new buyer, as someone has triggered the foreclosure process on the Mizpah Tower.

200 Foreclosure notices sent out Monday in Syracuse

Nov 19, 2012

A newly-established land bank sent out 200 foreclosure notices in Syracuse on Monday. The land bank is one of five approved by the state earlier this year, as part of an effort to reduce the number of neglected properties and to add to property tax rolls.