In the past two years, the City Council has declared 13 properties in Sanford to be Dangerous Buildings under Maine state law. We reached out to Ian Houseal of the City’s Land Bank Commission for a brief update on each.
18 Winter St.: This duplex in the downtown has caused a lot of consternation for neighbors and the Sanford Police Department, as people were frequently breaking in and squatting in the property. After being declared dangerous, the City removed the asbestos, for which it was reimbursed by the owner. Those funds will be used for the next step, which is removal of the garage behind the property. That work will go out to bid in August
28 Emery St.: This bank-owned single-family home was cleaned out and sold. The new owner has a rehab plan for the home and work is ongoing.
37 Montreal St.: The City has filed a special tax on this four-family home for the work done to secure the property. A special tax, if not paid, becomes a lien on the property. No communication has been received from the owners, Heather and Mitchell Piper of Kennebunk.
99 High St.: Another property that was a real nuisance in the neighborhood, this has been sold and the new owner has filed a rehab plan.
6 Proulx Ct.: The City removed the asbestos from this Springvale home. Despite being empty for many years, this home was still in relatively good condition. It has been sold and the new owner has a rehab plan and has already taken out permits for the improvements.
19 Mill St.: A special tax has been applied to this property for the removal of the asbestos siding, and payment has been demanded. Mr. Houseal said thanks to the tight real estate market, there have been a lot of inquiries about purchasing this property, but the City does not own it (yet).
27 Wilson St.: This home has been abandoned since 2010 and was the site of numerous complaints to the SPD. Since declaring it a Dangerous Building last year, the City has demolished it, demanded payment and filed a special tax.
1 John St.: This single-family foursquare-style home was evaluated for asbestos, payment has been demanded for work that has been done to secure the property, and a special tax is being filed.
21 Butler St.: Located behind Partners Bank in Springvale, this home has been sold and the new owner has a rehab plan.
38 Jackson St.: The City is working with the owner of this three-family Victorian built in 1900. An asbestos evaluation has been done. Sadly, the property is in too poor shape to rehab, so demolition is being scheduled.
International Woolen Company Boiler House: On July 14, the City took the owner of the property, Regco Inc., to court and was awarded a default judgement because no representative of the company showed up to contest it. Mr. Houseal said the next step is a public hearing at the City Council meeting on August 2, on bringing a $1 million bond to the voters in November. The bond funds will be used to demolish the building, and hopefully with the help of matching federal brownfield funds, to turn it into a parking lot.
12 Fieldstone Ln.: This ranch-style home built in 1992 was declared dangerous in April. The City will soon begin work cleaning it out to secure it.
26 Roberts St.: The owner of this home near Goodall Park has put it on the market and according to Mr. Houseal it has generated a lot of interest.
In total, the Land Bank has ten properties with rehab plans in effect right now. City-owned lots at 22 North Ave. and 13 Island Ave., where dangerous buildings were demolished, are currently on the market. Vacant lots at 12 Proulx Ct. and 19 Bodwell St. are under contract.
The Land Bank and Code Enforcement Office are keeping an eye on several other properties around town, in particular homes on Rankin St., Lebanon St. and Grove St. Mr. Houseal said the real estate market has led to some properties turning around without any action on the City’s part.