Weekly Feature

2017-09-07 / Front Page

Green space in the works for Boys and Girls Club


Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz speaks at a press conference regarding 511 Terrace Blvd. in Depew, as Director of Erie County Real Property Tax Joseph Maciejewski, middle left; Village of Depew Mayor Jesse Nikonowicz; and Land Bank Executive Director Jocelyn Gordon look on. Also pictured are Jeff Kupka, director of marketing and alumni relations, far left; and David Hoch, executive director for the Boys and Girls Club, behind Nikonowicz. Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz speaks at a press conference regarding 511 Terrace Blvd. in Depew, as Director of Erie County Real Property Tax Joseph Maciejewski, middle left; Village of Depew Mayor Jesse Nikonowicz; and Land Bank Executive Director Jocelyn Gordon look on. Also pictured are Jeff Kupka, director of marketing and alumni relations, far left; and David Hoch, executive director for the Boys and Girls Club, behind Nikonowicz. The long-vacant property at 511 Terrace Blvd. in Depew will be demolished to create green space for the Depew Lancaster Boys and Girls Club, according to a press release from Erie County.

Members of the Buffalo Erie Niagara Land Improvement Corp., or Land Bank, were joined by Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz and representatives from the Village of Depew, the office of New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, and the Depew-Lancaster Boys and Girls Club at the site for a press conference on the decision Tuesday.

The house at 511 Terrace has stood vacant since 2012, the release said. When the bank stopped paying taxes on it, the county was able to move it to the foreclosure process and prevent it from becoming a “zombie” property.

“Neighbors of 511 Terrace Blvd. have watched as this property slid into foreclosure and quietly deteriorated, putting an unsightly blemish on the neighborhood. Today we are seeing addition by subtraction as this eyesore is removed, taking away that blemish and creating new green space for the busy Boys and Girls Club next door,” said Poloncarz.

“It is another demonstration of the good work the Land Bank is doing, working across municipalities to address vacant and dilapidated properties and make neighborhoods whole again.”

The Land Bank, through a grant from Schneiderman’s office, will reimburse the Village of Depew for the cost of demolition, with the Land Bank taking title to the property at the upcoming county foreclosure auction, the release said.

After taking title, the Land Bank, through a negotiated sale, will transfer the vacant lot to the neighboring Boys and Girls Club, which will landscape and beautify the parcel to add green space to its facility next door.

“Land Banks are a powerful tool to help communities like the Village of Depew rid their streets of vacant properties that drag down home values,” said Schneiderman.

David Hoch, executive director of the Depew-Lancaster Boys and Girls Club, added, “The Boys and Girls club is looking forward to having green space where our members can play games outside in the good weather. I would like to thank the state, county, the Land Bank and village officials for their efforts.”

For more information, visit www.benlic.org/.

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