A method of obtaining blighted properties in the past could go unutilized this year by the Warren City Redevelopment Authority.
During the authority's meeting last Thursday morning, the annual Warren County tax sale scheduled for Sept. 10 came up for discussion. Alan Gustafson, building code official, said the only property available with blighted issues the city has dealt with is 104 Water St.
Located at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue, the property is owned by Steven Haight. It sits behind the Medicine Shoppe, which recently closed.
That area is zoned C-2, which allows for general commercial use. According to Gustafson, the building fills out the corner.
Appearing first on the list of properties at the sale, the building has a minimum bid of $11,735. Although he doesn't think there are any issues with the structure, Gustafson said it has been uninhabited since 2007 due to poor living conditions.
On the third floor, Gustafson said there needs to be a second "means of egress" to allow for an exit. The trap door in place is not adequate and the fire exit needs to be restored.
While there is one rental unit on each of the three floors, the building does not offer any offstreet parking. To rehabilitate the structure, Gustafson estimated it would cost much more than the minimum bid.
Likely repairs would also include rewiring the building. The cast iron plumbing would also need to be replaced, Gustafson said, as that material often deteriorates after it has been sitting unused.
"It's really a neat building," Gustafson said. "My concern is who purchases it."
Only a few weeks ago, Gustafson said, he first heard of the Medicine Shoppe closing. He hasn't heard of any future plans for that property although in the past its owners had discussed buying 104 Water St. in order to expand.
As an example of previous success at a judicial sale, Gustafson mentioned 467 Prospect St. The authority had purchased it a few years ago and then resold it to someone who purchased several other properties in the neighborhood.
This year, however, authority member Tricia Durbin said they will be passing on the judicial sale properties.
The authority's next meeting is at 7:15 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 20 in the first-floor conference room of the municipal building.