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Land bank sells its first house

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — A condemned Rockford home is officially the first property sold through the Northern Illinois Land Bank Authority.

The house is located at 304 South Second Street in Rockford's Haight Village. It went to the highest bidder for $20,000.

It sat empty for years and was nearly $40,000 delinquent on property taxes. Those back taxes were cleared through the abandonment process in court.

The land bank was created for our area to fight blight and allow for redevelopment on abandoned or tax-delinquent properties.

"We know that distressed, foreclosed and abandoned properties lower neighboring property values,” says Mayor Tom McNamara in a Facebook post by the City of Rockford. “The land bank is doing exactly what we hoped it would do - eliminating liens and tax liabilities and transferring clean titles to new owners in order to restore blighted properties and put them back into the hands of the private sector which improves our entire community.”

The city says the developer will have the property fixed up in roughly nine months, the land bank still has power to oversee that timeline. Should the new buyer not follow through, the land bank will takeover the property again.

James Stratton

James Stratton is the Evening Anchor at 13 WREX and reports for 13 Investigates He joined the team in August, 2018 after working at KWQC TV-6 in Davenport Iowa. His work in Illinois and Iowa has been awarded in both states, along with Edward R. Murrow and Emmy Awards at 13 WREX.

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