Omaha land bank takes over vacant property

Posted at 6:33 PM, May 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-25 01:05:49-04

In the historic Country Club neighborhood sits a vacant house at 51st and Blondo streets where neighbors say the house is an eyesore.

The city said the house has been vacant for around 10 years, but the Omaha Municipal Land Bank acquired the land after the owner eventually sold the property to them.

“Holes in the roof that we knew water was filling up and animals crawling in a out of it, raccoon had a wonderful place to live,” said neighbor Jackie Hoyt.

Hoyt lives across the street from the deteriorating vacant property besides the eyesore, she’s worred about safety issues, “When the yellow signs says condemned it became a very serious thing for us.”

The Omaha planning department was only able to cite the property with code violations and potentially an order for demolition.

But City Councilman Pete Festersen said he reached out to the newly created land bank for help.

“We have hundreds of properties just like this, the one huge frustration on an otherwise beautiful block and that’s why we created the land bank to help address these situations,” said Festersen.

The land bank says the difficult part in this case was trying to contact the owner to sell, eventually she did.

“It doesn’t happen very often that we have an owner that says ‘yes I’ll sell’ yes we would love to have your help and we can come in and make something that’s really good in the neighborhood and for them,” said Marty Barnhart, executive director of the Omaha Municipal Land Bank.


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