DANVILLE, Va. (WSET) -- There is an effort underway in Danville to make old buildings new again, and city leaders hope it will reduce blight and lead to city-wide revitalization.
City council is looking into creating something called a land bank, which is an entity that would allow Danville's Neighborhood Development Corporation to buy up abandoned buildings, get rid of their liens, and get them into the hands of developers who would fix them up.
People in Danville say abandoned buildings are a problem that needs to be addressed.
"[The city needs to] cut down some of these buildings for real, you have kids walking around, you have homeless people in the buildings and stuff like that,” said Dennis Randle, who has lived in the city for 35 years.
Danville Vice Mayor Lee Vogler sees the creation of a land bank as one solution.
"We've had a blight problem for a number of years now and largely in the past it would be dealt with by demolishing them and that gets very costly,” Vogler said.
The city currently manages about 200 abandoned or vacant properties. Vogler said it costs about $11,000 to demolish an abandoned home. A land bank would buy properties, then developers could bid on the ones they want to fix up.
"The goal is not to come in, buy it and sit on it, that's a lot of the issue we have now,” Vogler said, “We want folks to buy them, fix them up, and get back into use,"
Randle said he supports the city looking for ways to reduce the number of abandoned buildings.
“It's not comfortable for us people to live around abandoned houses,” he said.
If city council votes to approve a land bank tomorrow night at their meeting, the city would allocate $250,000 to the Neighborhood Development Corporation. From there, developers could start buying properties and bringing them back to life.