SULLIVAN COUNTY –– Jill Weyer, the Executive Director of the Sullivan County Land Bank and Deputy Commissioner of the Sullivan County Division of Planning, recently joined the Sullivan …
SULLIVAN COUNTY –– Jill Weyer, the Executive Director of the Sullivan County Land Bank and Deputy Commissioner of the Sullivan County Division of Planning, recently joined the Sullivan County Democrat Podcast to talk about some of the Land Bank’s current projects and initiatives.
One of the topics of discussion was the Broadway Theater in the Village of Monticello. The Land Bank acquired the property at the end of 2020.
“We’re looking to figure out what’s the best way to redevelop it,” said Weyer. “We did have a developer on board. But unfortunately, once COVID hit they were struggling with two closed theaters, so they were unable to take on the project. So we’re kind of back at square one.
“But we are looking to get input from all of our local cultural organizations and local residents - anybody interested in trying to reactivate that theater,” she continued, adding that they want to redevelop it in a way that benefits the community.
The Land Bank has worked to address vacant, blighted and abandoned properties countywide, with a targeted focus on the Villages of Liberty and Monticello.
The Broadway Theater isn’t the only thing the Land Bank is currently working on in the County seat.
They are working with RUPCO and Kearney Development Group on the redevelopment of the Monticello Manor property and two buildings on Broadway (430 & 418), for housing
According to Weyer, it'll be rental housing on the upper stories of the Main Street buildings as well as Monticello Manor. And then, some commercial spaces on the downstairs main/street level.
“The hope is to activate those two anchor buildings,” said Weyer. “They bookend the Broadway block between Landfield Avenue and Bank Street. So by redeveloping those two corner buildings, our hope is to start redevelopment of that entire block and start to see some more investment happening in downtown Monticello.”
To date, the Land Bank has acquired roughly 66 properties, from homes to even vacant lots. They have been able to give several of those properties new life and return them to homeownership.
Weyer explained that in the Villages of Liberty and Monticello, the spaces are anywhere between 60-70 percent renter occupied.
“We'd really like to increase the homeownership rate in those villages so that you could kind of solidify and build more of a community,” said Weyer.
To listen to the full interview with Weyer, which includes more info on properties the Land Bank has acquired, programs for income eligible homebuyers and ways to get involved with the Land Bank, head to the Sullivan County Democrat Podcast channels on SoundCloud, TuneIn, Overcast, Apple Podcasts and Spotify. The podcast will be out early next week.
You can also visit sullivancountylandbank.org for more on the Land Bank.
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