Thursday, August 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

The city's not much of a real estate agent

After reading Catherine Lucey's story about how the city is selling properties on the Web, we hopped over to the city site listing six properties near Center City for public bid. All it has are the addresses and zip codes! No pretty pictures, no flowery language listing the assets of the houses (or lots). If you go to the site listing all publicly owned properties and click on one, the first thing you see is "LNI Violations." Don't get us wrong, it's good for the city to disclose that sort of thing. But how about trying to get maximum value for taxpayers?

The city's not much of a real estate agent

After reading Catherine Lucey's story about how the city is selling properties on the Web, we hopped over to the city site listing six properties near Center City for public bid. All it has are the addresses and zip codes! No pretty pictures, no flowery language listing the assets of the houses (or lots). If you go to the site listing all publicly owned properties and click on one, the first thing you see is "LNI Violations." Don't get us wrong, it's good for the city to disclose that sort of thing. But how about trying to get maximum value for taxpayers?

Check out the Craigslist listing for 2038 Pemberton Street. Here's the entirety of the text:

House located at 2038 Pemberton Street. This property is zoned R10 - Residential.

This property is part of the City of Philadelphia's surplus property inventory. We will be accepting bids until May 10, 2010. Please inquire for more information.

Zoned residential! Sounds perfect for my family!

Here's a picture of this property.

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Every year, city government spends slightly more than $4 billion. Where does all that money come from? More importantly, where does it go? Are we getting the most bang for our tax buck? “It's Our Money” is a joint project between Philadelphia Daily News and WHYY, funded by the William Penn Foundation, designed to answer these questions.

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