FULTON — Four Fulton properties overhauled by the Oswego County Land Bank in recent months are coming to completion as part of the organization’s continued effort to rehabilitate blighted properties across the county.
The Oswego County Land Bank, which was formed in 2016 as a nonprofit corporation governed by an 11-member board, is aimed at improving neighborhoods and the county housing stock by renovating or demolishing strategically targeted properties. Fulton and the county Land Bank have partnered on several property swaps and rehabs in the past few years, and the relationship is delivering a quartet of newly renovated homes to the local housing market.
The four properties are located at 420 Oneida St., 406 S. 3rd St., 308 S. 7th St., and 360 S. 7th St.
Oswego County Land Bank Executive Director Kim Park said two of the homes, 420 Oneida St. and 308 S. 7th St., have accepted purchase offers and are moving through the sales process. Park called the 420 Oneida St. property, which is located on one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares, “a great rehab for the city of Fulton,” noting it was “a huge project” as the house had been broken into while vacant and was in need of “serious structural repairs.”
Fulton Mayor Deana Michaels said the city and county Land Bank are continuing to forge a strong relationship, and noted the parties have a mutual respect for, and an understanding of, what each brings to the table. Michaels said as the city continues efforts to attract families and encourage homeownership in Fulton, partners like the Land Bank will assist in achieving those goals.
“We understand that quality housing stock is critical to attracting families to live here, to businesses attracting a skilled workforce, and to improve the safety of our neighborhoods,” the mayor said.
Specific to the four properties in Fulton under Land Bank control, Michaels said the parcels have been “taken from blighted status” and transformed into “properties that families would be proud to call home.”
“We are proud of the work the Land Bank does and the attention to detail and quality that goes into each rehab,” Michaels said of the organization’s work.
Each of the Fulton homes required fairly major renovations, according to Park, who said some of them needed all new plumbing and heating systems and other significant improvements. She noted the homes are in relative proximity to one another, and the improvement of multiple homes on a single block, or even in close proximity, can have a dramatic impact on the surrounding neighborhoods.
“It’s great that we had these four houses all in the city of Fulton,” Park said. “It’s great when you can work on four places relatively all at the same time, and they’re all in close proximity, which I think will make a tremendous impact. “
Park said the improvement of the two homes in such close proximity on South Seventh Street, which are on adjacent blocks with just a half-dozen houses between them, can really help turn around an entire street.
The city of Fulton acquired three of the properties — 420 Oneida St. and the two South Seventh Street properties — through tax foreclosure and transferred the parcels to the Land Bank to renovate. The South Third Street property was a bank foreclosure the Land Bank acquired it through the National Community Stabilization Trust
The county Land Bank has completed a number of other renovations recently throughout the county, and has more than a dozen rehabilitations currently in process. The Land Bank, since its inception, has put more than 50 properties worth nearly $2.5 million back on the tax rolls in the county.
In related news, the city of Fulton recently appointed Fulton Block Builders Director Linda Eagan to serve on the board of the county Land Bank, replacing former Community Development Agency (CDA) Director Joe Fiumara. Michaels said Eagan’s “passion, expertise and understanding of the Fulton market” would add value to the board, adding she “understands what it takes to improve a neighborhood one house at a time.”