Philly agency ramps up vacant land sales, starting in Fishtown and Whitman (11/28/2018)
Byline: Jacob Adelman
The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority plans to begin taking bids Friday for a bundle of vacant properties in what it says is a first step toward accelerating the sale of city-owned land under its control.
The properties going up for sale consist of 24 empty lots and two vacant buildings within Philadelphia’s First Council District, which extends north and south of Center City along the city’s eastern edge, PRA executive director Gregory Heller said Wednesday.
Among them are properties in neighborhoods such as Whitman and Lower Moyamensing in South Philadelphia, and in Fishtown and Kensington northeast of Center City.
The parcels are the first of about 100 across the city that the PRA has cleared for sale, but that number is steadily growing as agency staff continue to sort out complication involving titles, liens and other issues, Heller said.
Successful bids, which require City Council approval after PRA selection, will be judged based on criteria such as social impact and financial feasibility in addition to monetary offers.
The PRA controls 28 percent of Philadelphia’s 8,447 city-owned vacant properties, with most of the rest overseen by the Philadelphia Land Bank and Department of Public Property.