The Hamilton County Land Reutilization Corporation, or “Landbank”, was formed in 2011 to address blight and vacancy in Hamilton County. We acquire, stabilize and sell vacant, abandoned, and blighted properties to responsible end-users. Why? Because vacant blighted properties destabilize neighborhoods, can be dangerous, attract crime, diminish property values, and negatively impact quality of life.
The Port is the Management Company of the Landbank. This means some Port employees spend their time managing and operating the Landbank.
The Landbank is located at 3 E. Fourth Street, Suite 300, Cincinnati OH, 45202.
Some of the properties owned by the Landbank are located on our website. To access a comprehensive list of all Landbank owned properties, go to the website of the Hamilton County Auditor and search by address or owner name (“Hamilton County Land Reutilization Corporation”).
We accept donation of blighted, vacant properties. If you are interested in donating your property to the Landbank, use the “Contact Us” link on our website or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org stating your interest, along with the property address and your contact information. We will evaluate the property and call or e-mail you to discuss the possibility of donation. Sometimes, we are unable to accept the donation of a property. For example, if we cannot get clear title to a property or do not have adequate funds to maintain a property, donation may not be an option.
We are not like a typical property seller. We are motivated to find the best end-user who can fix a broken property in a way that is supported by our community partners. Purchasing properties from us generally follows this process:
- Search for a Landbank property that is available for purchase on our Available Properties
- Once you’ve found a property, make sure that your desired redevelopment is allowed. For example, in some neighborhoods, we will only sell vacant lots for infill housing (new construction) and not gardens.
- Submit your application. Applications can be submitted electronically on our website, e-mailed or mailed. We have some resources on our website with information about the application process and timeline.
- Allow time for us to review your application. Sometimes, we may need more information from you to make a decision.
- If your application is approved, we will sign a purchase contract.
- You will have a due diligence period before closing to inspect the property, obtain a title exam and make sure you want to buy it. Sometimes, approved applicants decide a property will take too much work or money and change their mind. At the end of the due diligence period, if you decide to move forward with purchase, we sell the property to you.
Filling out an application does not obligate you to purchase the property. We review the information in the application to get the process started. Unfortunately, we do not have enough staff resources to give you access to the property before you apply for it. However, you are encouraged to walk the exterior of the property. After that, you complete the application to the best of your ability with the information you have.
Every application must clearly identify what you will do with the property once you purchase it, provide estimated costs to complete your development, and include information on what funds you have or can borrow for the project (cash on hand, a loan, a grant, historic tax credits, etc.). For properties with structures on them, once your application is preliminarily approved, we can set up a time for you to go through it so you can get better cost estimates on rehab and decide whether it is the right property for you.
Properties purchased from the Landbank always come with restrictions on their use. For example, we require all purchasers to bring properties with structures back into habitability, and regardless of whether there is a structure on it, to maintain the property in good repair and pay property taxes.
Not all Landbank properties are available for purchase by the public. There are three main reasons that a Landbank property may not be listed as available for sale on our Available Properties page:
- We have already agreed to sell the property to someone else.
- We are holding the property for one of our Community Development Corporation partners.
- We are rehabbing or stabilizing the property. These properties often become available for purchase once we have completed the work.
Suggested sale prices are listed on the properties on our website. The proposed sale price is based on the location, surrounding property values, and condition of the property. The sale price is negotiable, and rehab costs, as well as post-project-completion value, can factor into a final sale price.
All applicants to purchase Landbank property must meet the following criteria:
- Be registered with the State of Ohio (if they are a business);
- Not own any (or have a history of owning) properties with outstanding code violations;
- Be up to date on all property taxes;
- Not have recent foreclosure filings on their record.
These restrictions can be waived if there are good reasons for doing so. We also reserve the right not to approve an application for other reasons, such as competing applications or lack of financing to complete redevelopment at the site.
The typical process takes a few months, but can take much shorter or longer. The length of the process varies depending on whether your application is complete with all of the information that we need from you. We also seek input from some neighborhood CDC’s to make sure that they support your application. There can be other factors that cause delay as well, including if an applicant needs more time to get financing and do other due diligence on the property prior to closing.
We do not have enough staff resources to show you a property until after your initial application has been vetted and approved. Once that happens, we will set up a time for you to visit the property. We advise applicants to fill out the application based on the knowledge available to them about a particular property, including exterior inspection of it. Under no circumstances are applicants obligated to purchase a property without seeing it. After application approval and inspection, an approved applicant can inspect the property and decide whether to complete the purchase.
No. Our funds are limited to maintaining or stabilizing properties that are abandoned or that we own. If you can no longer afford to maintain your property and want to donate it to the Landbank, see FAQ 5, above.
Maybe. Send us a message using the “Contact Us” link on our website, or e-mail us at email@example.com with the property address, a brief description of the problem, and your contact information. Sometimes, the Landbank can acquire vacant, blighted properties. We do not work with properties that are occupied – only vacant. For blight and nuisance conditions, in general, you can contact your local municipality to enter a complaint about any potential health or building code violations or criminal activity. In the City of Cincinnati, citizen service requests can be made by calling 513-591-6000 or visiting http://cagismaps.hamilton-co.org/csr/cincinnati.
We do our best to keep our properties secure, grass cut, and free of trash. However, if you think that the Landbank owns a property that is not being adequately maintained, please let us know as soon as possible. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 513-621-3000 and leave a message for the Property Manager. Make sure to include the address of the property in question, the problem with the property, your name, and contact information, and any other relevant information. If the property is ours, we will fix the problem as soon as possible, and contact you if the situation requires follow-up.