Grand Rapids considers transferring 163 tax-foreclosed properties to land bank


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When Kent County commissioners agreed in March not to sell any tax-foreclosed properties to the Kent County Land Bank Authority — after selling 44 for $422,000 last July — they did so believing that decision should fall into the hands of city and township officials.

On Tuesday, Grand Rapids city commissioners will consider transferring 163 tax-foreclosed properties to the land bank — along with any other parcels that may end up going into tax foreclose. 

The back taxes and recording fees on the properties total $1.18 million.

“The acquisition costs and recording fees for the properties being acquired will be paid by the KCLBA,” writes City Economic Development Director Kara Wood in the resolution that is going to commissioners.

If the city commission agrees to transfer the properties to the land bank, the board will be declaring that doing so serves a public purpose, a requirement of state law. The commission’s public purpose in this case is to restore blighted properties.

Also, if commissioners agree to do that, the city will draw up a redevelopment agreement with the land bank, and the land bank board will review it at its next meeting on June 26.

If members of the KCLBA board agree to the contract, the land bank will have until July 19 to deposit the $1.18 million with the city.

The land bank will then have 18 months to redevelop or sell the properties from the time it fully takes possession and will be required to file a progress report on the property improvements and disposition of parcels with the city every six months.

City staff has recommended that commissioners transfer the properties and approve the development agreement with the land bank. 

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