The Philadelphia Land Bank is set to take over the Vacant Property Review Committee, a city office charged with reviewing sales of city-owned real estate. The VPRC's activities have been frozen after reports emerged of undervaluation of land and political interference in real estate deals involving the city.
Now, the VPRC is set for an operational takeover by a newer city department, established in 2015 as a central office for vetting buyer interest sales of city land, WHYY reports.
The city largely halted public land sales in January, following a November report by the Philadelphia Inquirer into a sweetheart land deal that reportedly enabled one politically wired real estate developer to net a $165,000 profit flipping city-owned properties bought below market value. In another case, a Philadelphia judge reportedly turned $135,000 on the fast sale of a vacant lot in Brewerytown, similarly undervalued.
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