PEDA - Pennsylvania Economic Development Association

Land Banks and Economic Development

  • 12/16/2015
  • 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
  • Webinar



Land Banks and Economic Development

Click here to download the registration brochure.

This session will feature an in-depth presentation on the PA Land Bank Act 153 of 2012 which authorizes counties and municipalities with populations of 10,000 or more to establish land banks, a flexible and optional tool meant to help strengthen our cities and towns by enabling them to systematically remove problem properties from an endless cycle of vacancy, abandonment, and tax foreclosure, and return them to productive use.  Land banks can engage in bulk quiet-title proceedings so that title insurance can be obtained and title can be marketable.  They also address a vast inventory of problem properties that need to be cleared of debts, maintained, made available for private purchase, and managed where real estate markets are weak or distressed.

The session will focus on how land banks can be used to further economic development objectives by assembling parcels that can be used to develop a game-changer project.  Land banks have some advantages in acquiring tax delinquent property and have the ability to commence expedited quiet title proceedings.  Economic development agencies may also diversify their funding by entering into contracts with land banks to provide administrative services associated with the purchase and disposition of land by the land bank.

This workshop will include the following topics:

  • Background on Act 153 of 2012 authorizing the establishment of land banks
  • How land banks can be used to further economic development objectives
  • Developing a targeted reinvestment strategy to fully utilize the powers of a land bank for economic development purposes.
  • Considerations in determining which entity (county or municipality) should form a land bank
  • Options for funding land bank operations
  • Case studies

Chris Gulotta, Principal, The Gulotta Group, LLC

Chris Gulotta, Principal of the Gulotta Group, LLC, served as Executive Director of the Redevelopment and Housing Authorities of Cumberland County for thirty years between 1980 and 2010. In this position, he was responsible for developing and implementing housing and community development strategies for Cumberland and Perry Counties.

Mr. Gulotta has led strategic planning sessions with elected and appointed officials, non-profit organizations, and private citizens in a variety of areas including economic and community development, homelessness, and the redevelopment of downtowns and rural town centers.

Mr. Gulotta is a recognized expert on how to package public and private financing to obtain results. During his time with the Redevelopment and Housing Authorities, the organization had over twenty-five national and state award winning projects which addressed compelling community needs, demonstrated innovation, and leveraged private funding. Additionally, his working knowledge of the real estate development process has been helpful in moving projects from the concept phase to the build-out phase.

Mr. Gulotta is a graduate of Dickinson College, the Penn State University Masters Degree Program in Urban and Regional Planning, and the Dickinson School of Law. He has served on several statewide and regional boards throughout his career and has received numerous awards, among them the 2010 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Supportive Housing Award, the 2008 Leadership Award from the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, and the 2009 Distinguished Alumni from Dickinson College.

Winifred Branton, Esq, Branton Strategies, LLC

Winnie Branton is the Principal of Branton Strategies LLC, established in 2014 to provide consulting services to local governments, non-profits, and others regarding land recycling, vacant property repurposing, and community reinvestment.  She serves as the Program Manager and Trainer for the Housing Alliance’s Land Bank Training and Technical Assistance Program. Through the program, Winnie educates local governments, non-profit organizations, and other stakeholders on Pennsylvania’s Land Bank Law, and guides them in evaluating the use of land bank powers to reclaim and repurpose vacant, abandoned and tax-delinquent properties in their communities. She provides technical assistance on developing startup and operating plans, designing tax sale property acquisition strategies, and drafting formation documents. 

Prior to Branton Strategies, Winnie practiced environmental and land use law for more than 15 years, advising clients on regulatory compliance, permitting, land development, remediation, community relations, and government affairs. She started her legal career in Pennsylvania DEP’s Office of Chief Counsel, and most recently served as Counsel with the boutique law firm of Land Air Water Legal Solutions LLC.  Winnie is Vice-President of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Resources Council, Pennsylvania’s oldest grassroots environmental non-profit organization.  She received her J.D. from Temple University Law School and her M.A. in Public Administration from the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania.     

John Kromer, Housing & Development Consultant

John Kromer is a housing and development consultant who specializes in strategic planning, public agency capacity building, and program and policy development for urban communities and metropolitan regions.

As the City of Philadelphia’s Director of Housing from 1992 to 2001, Kromer supervised the expenditure of more than a billion dollars in public investment in support of housing preservation and development activities that improved living conditions for thousands of Philadelphia families. As a consultant since that time, he has assisted government, institutional, and nonprofit clients in organizing and implementing reinvestment strategies. Within the past five years, he has been a key participant in the design and implementation of state-authorized economic recovery plans for the cities of Camden, NJ, Reading, PA, and Altoona, PA.

Attention Certified Providers: This course is approved to provide 1.50 organizational PDUs (Marketing / PR) as explained in the Guidelines for Certification of Economic Development Organizations issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and in PEDI’s Policies and Procedures.

*Note: We reserve the right to reschedule or cancel this offering.  In the event of a cancellation, a refund will be provided to registrants.

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