A city-owned property at 1315 Union Street that historic preservation groups fought to protect last year is on the list of properties the Glynn-Brunswick Land Bank Authority would like to acquire.
“It’s a very viable property,” said John Hunter with the city of Brunswick’s planning department. “I can’t speak for certain, but should the land bank acquire the property, my assumption is that it would be an as-is sale since the land bank does not have any funds for renovations right now. There would be some cleanup of the property but likely no renovations.”
The Union Street property received of lot of attention as its fate teetered on possible demolition last year until the Historic Brunswick Preservation Board denied the owner, Joe McDonough’s request to tear down the structure.
McDonough, a local business owner, appealed to the Brunswick City Commission without success.
Following his denial of his appeal, McDonough, deeded 1315 Union Street over to the city.
The land bank was created to acquire, manage, maintain and facilitate the redevelopment of underutilized, vacant and blighted, tax delinquent properties through local intergovernmental agreements.
The Land Bank Authority views the vacant 1315 Union Street property as prime real estate and would like to acquire, market and sell it to generate revenue for its coffers.
It’s still early for definitive responses from the group. They only recently elected Brunswick Commissioner Felicia Harris as chair and set the fledgling group’s bylaws.
They still have to put a mission statement in place and set the land bank’s guidelines and policies.
Brunswick City Attorney Brian Corry will look into mission statements and the policies other land banks use to dispose of properties.
The group, during its meeting on Wednesday, discussed the best way to proceed with the list of dilapidated structures with tax deeds, properties with city-held liens, properties with tax deeds, city-owned properties, properties on the code enforcement watch list as well as potential donations.
Glynn County Tax Commissioner Jeff Chapman attended the meeting on Wednesday and suggested the group start small with the list of properties as a way to learn the steps involved.
County Commissioner Mark Stambaugh reminded the group that acquiring and disposing of the properties can sometimes be a slow process.
The group voted to start with prioritizing a list of city-owned vacant lots it would like to present to the Brunswick Commission for permission to acquire and sell them as a way to generate revenue for the land bank.
Additionally, requests to donate a vacant house and a vacant lot to the land bank have already been made, but the group is not ready to accept the properties.
“We don’t want to accept donated properties until we have our policies and guidelines in place,” said Hunter, who works closely with real estate properties in the city.