SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) —The Historic First Ward Church is on the market, and for only $1,000.
The building sits on Syracuse’s north side on Bear Street, and is housed in a residential neighborhood.
Executive Director, Katelyn Wright, says funding comes from different sources.
“For the past couple of years’, we have gotten a lot of financial assistance from New York State, the city of Syracuse, and from Onondaga County.” “But unfortunately, it hasn’t been enough to cover our annual operating deficit.”
Within the last six years, the Land Bank has acquired over 17-hundred unused properties, sold 708, and demolished 287.
The not-for-profit organization was created by the city and the county to address vacant and abandoned properties, and is the default recipient of all the city’s foreclosed properties.
“We bring them in after the foreclosure, stabilize them, acquire them, clean out any trash and debris, change the locks, list them for sale.”
“Some of them sell, and generate a little bit of revenue, which is great.” “A lot of them lose money,” says Wright.
The building has been vacant for more than twenty years, and local residents wonder what will replace the structure.
Diane McGuire has lived in the neighborhood for almost more than fifty years, and recalls what used to take place within the walls of the church building.
“When I was a child, it used to be a part of the parks and rec program during the summertime.”
“It was a beautiful church.” “I didn’t belong to the church, but it was always filled with people, the building was kept up, it was beautiful,” adds McGuire.
The Land Bank acquired the building two years ago, and recently began to market it. They hold open houses periodically, and private showings to prospective buyers.
McGuire says, a potential buyer expressed the thought of using the building for yoga, amongst other things.
“This is a very poor neighborhood, there’s a lot of immigrant people.”
“If they could do something that would serve the neighborhood, and make the neighborhood better, that would be good,” says McGuire.