This just in from the Anti-Flipping Task Force...

See the background - Flipping (off) Jesus!


BUFFALO— The Mayor’s Anti-Flipping Task Force today announced the successful removal of a Buffalo property listed on eBay. The property, formerly St. Matthew’s Church at 1066 East Ferry Street, was removed thanks to the collective efforts of the City of Buffalo, the Task Force and the property owner. The property was purchased at the City of Buffalo’s In-Rem auction in October 2006.

“The fact that the public is aware of the efforts of the Anti-Flipping Task Force and that they seek out recommendations on property sales shows that our message is getting out effectively,” said Mayor Byron W. Brown. “The community, the AFTF, the City of Buffalo, New York State, and the seller all came together to remove this property from eBay. This shows how serious we are about preventing fraudulent flipping in the City of Buffalo.”

State Senator Stachowksi, AFTF Co-Chair stated, "The AFTF has been very diligent and thorough in exploring ways we can prevent illegal flipping in the City of Buffalo. This is a perfect example of a potential illegal flip, but better yet, it's a perfect example of the AFTF's ability to respond to a situation of this nature."

“This decisive action is further indication that the AFTF is achieving the results that we hoped it would when we created the Task Force two years ago,” said Assemblymember Sam Hoyt, Co-Chair of the AFTF.

Members of the community contacted the Mayor’s Anti-Flipping Task Force with concerns about the property listing on eBay. The AFTF then contacted the City of Buffalo Department of Economic Development, Permit and Inspection Services, the Department of Law and the Office of Strategic Planning to establish whether the sale on eBay violated provisions of the In-Rem contract. The City concluded that the proposed sale would violate the terms of the City contract. The AFTF notified the owner and he withdrew the property from eBay.

“We are very pleased that this process worked effectively and quickly. This experience demonstrates that the community, AFTF members, and the City of Buffalo, are committed to protecting Buffalo neighborhoods. We have succeeded in preventing a cycle of destructive flipping with respect to a significant East Side property” said Kathleen A. Lynch, Esq., AFTF Coordinator.

Monica M. Pellegrino

Community Development Project Manager

Assemblymember Sam Hoyt

936 Delaware Avenue

Buffalo, NY 14209




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aaron11272 said...

Well it's great to see that the city of Buffalo is stepping up and enforcing it's stance against the practice of flipping properties.
My only concern is this...
I understand all the reasons why flipping is dangerous...especially when an outside party thinks they are getting a great deal, but don't realize the economics of our city. However, on the flip side (no pun intended), the property now has an even greater chance to sit and rot, because the owners who are now "stuck" with a property they don't want, won't do anything to restore, maintain, or at least slow down it's demise. Windows won't be boarded, the roof won't be patched. It just sounds like another Transfiguration in the works...

Charger said...

This is all very well, but what if the owner had decided to say "screw you" to the AFTF? And what happens after the no-flip time period in the In-Rem contract has passed?

In response to aaron11272: 1. They owner can still sell the property, just not for 10x what they paid for it and 2) HOUSING COURT (with proper community pressure it just might work.)

Anonymous said...

the purpose of the 6 month holding period is so they city can track down the new owner and get them into housing court. as all potential bidders are warned at the auction, housing court violations are their responsibility. stopping the flip is step one, step two is holding the owners to their stewardship responsibilities under the law.

Mark Williams said...

Nice to read that Sam Hoyt’s office stepped-up to the plate and accepted all of the credit for removing Saint Matthews from Ebay.

It is not as if David Torke and Buffalo Rising had anything remotely to do with drawing attention to the whole convoluted mess in the first place.

Moot point (really need to stop using that word, but it is so applicable).

Crediting the owner as well is laughable; he will now secure the building - - right?

Ha ha ha ha

Warren Buffett said...

This example illustrates the quandry of re-use in a contracting City. Who has the money and responsibility to successfully make this building into a productive facility?

I would suggest that the owners take a deep breath, sequester their resources, and do their own Request For Proposals -- waterproof and conserve the building while putting out the question and, at the same time exhibit their true character and intent in a manner consistant with their original bid and plans for a community center.

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm confused how they can stop the guy if he bought it in October and is trying to sell it now, passed the 6 month time period?

Oh well... like everything in the city limits... fight, obstruct, argue and the file a lawsuit, further stagnating progress and causing disinvestment and sprawl.

Anonymous said...

Its 6 months from transfer of the deed, not purchase/bid date.

Nothing is being obstructed here. What this is, is ensuring that the building gets brought up to code before a profit is made and that the owner is held responsible for the propery. It stops an endless cycle of profiting off of neglect/decay only to end up with the tax payers footing the demo bill.

The seller is allowed to sell it now at no more than 120% profit. Considering he put nothing into it, no loss to him. The holes are still in the roof, the broken windows are still exposed.

Cathy said...

I think it's great that David drew attention to this. The whole point of being able to purchase a property cheaply is so that it may be renovated, not flipped for a small profit to someone who didn't do their homework. The 6 months is way too short of a period. Hopefully the city will extend this period to be more effective. Perhaps this particular "flipper" will not waste time on another property that they don't intend to fix up.