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City steps up property sales effort

The city is taking new steps to find buyers for some properties it has acquired through tax foreclosures.

Marketers in City Hall have created catalogs that showcase some of the more marketable residential and commercial properties that are for sale. The catalogs have been posted on the city's Web site at www.city-buffalo.com. They include photographs and brief descriptions of the featured sites.

The more aggressive campaign followed recent criticism from members of a city accountability panel that not enough is being done to market Buffalo's property portfolio. Last month, CitiStat members called on the Division of Real Estate to find new ways to snare the interest of prospective buyers.

The city has more than 4,000 properties that have been acquired through foreclosures. Many properties are slated for demolition, while others are small vacant lots with limited marketing potential. But Mayor Byron W. Brown said other properties are suitable for homes and businesses. The online catalogs currently showcase more than 100 residential and commercial properties.

Brown praised city marketers Friday, saying the new efforts are beginning to show immediate results.

"We're already getting more [Internet] hits than we have in a long time," said Brown.

The city also sells properties at foreclosure auctions that are held each autumn. Its Web site provides detailed information about how people can purchase city-owned real estate. For additional information, call 851-5261.

e-mail: bmeyer@buffnews.com

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