If there were any questions whether or not the continuing national housing crisis has improved in Revere, those questions were answered recently when the City released its annual vacant building list – revealing the disheartening news that more than 100 buildings and homes were identified as vacant or abandoned.
The city began compiling the list several years ago when the housing market was still in a boom cycle. At that time, the list was more of a way to put pressure on property owners who were â€œlandbankingâ€ or keeping blighted properties. That was accomplished by levying fines of up to $3,000 per year for those keeping vacant buildings.
There was no thought that the list would eventually become a barometer for just how bad the housing crisis had become locally.
But thatâ€™s just what it has become.
The City identified 104 abandoned buildings and homes this year, which was pretty much in line with last yearâ€™s list where around 110 were identified. Approximately 12 of those properties were commercial buildings, with some 92 buildings being residential homes.
Many had hoped there would be marked improvement this year, but so far it doesnâ€™t appear that is the case.
â€œIt is reflective of the reality, which is that we have a lot of abandoned homes,â€ said Mayor Tom Ambrosino. â€œWe have a lot of bank-owned properties that just arenâ€™t moving.â€
Health Agent Nick Catinazzo – whose department oversees the abandoned property efforts – said that the fines and the cityâ€™s system has helped turn properties over.
He said that properties typically arenâ€™t lingering on the list for several years. In fact, he said there is a 50 percent turnover rate – meaning that half of the properties on last yearâ€™s list were sold and are now occupied.
The bad news is that new abandoned properties come onto the list just as quickly as the old ones leave the list.
â€œWe have a lot of these properties and itâ€™s a constant battle,â€ said Catinazzo.
The program works by having Inspectional Services employees canvass the neighborhoods looking for properties that appear vacant. After identifying those properties, a letter is sent to the owner of record. If the owner cannot prove that the property is occupied, then a fine is levied.
Fines range from $500 for the first year up to $3,000.
While the list does expose continued weaknesses in the local housing market, it also exposes some good outcomes.
Catinazzo pointed to the fact that the old Stop & Shop in Northgate Plaza has finally come off the abandoned building list after being on there every year. In order to prevent competition, Stop & Shop gladly doled out the $3,000 fine each and every year.
However, now a new market, Price Rite, has opened up in the space and the property is no longer considered vacant.
Catinazzo and the mayor said this should be considered a victory – as they both believe that the yearly fine probably helped push Stop & Shop to make a move.
â€œThat old Stop & Shop is now a Price Rite,â€ said Catinazzo. â€œWe had them on the list for years. Thatâ€™s one example of a property that has turned over and gotten back to occupancy. We have a yearly turnover of 50 percent on the vacant properties. So, the program has worked. Itâ€™s worked well.â€
The mayor said that the City has taken an aggressive approach by using the list, cleaning up abandoned properties rather than letting them sit.
Catinazzo said all the money collected from abandoned property fines goes into a revolving account that is used to clean up and board up abandoned properties. So, the program works to help make the best of what has become a bad situation.
â€œItâ€™s a lot of work and a lot of paperwork, but it generates money and puts money in our department to help clean up these properties in the City,â€ said Catinazzo. â€œItâ€™s worked out really well because instead of these homes sitting there, we go out and board them up if we need to and clean them up…When you have programs in place like this you have dollars to go in and clean up these properties quickly and the whole neighborhood is happy and the abandoned houses donâ€™t become a blight and hurt property values.â€
Reardon says efforts are ongoing to sell former pub property
For the second year in a row, a high-profile property co-owned by Ward 4 City Councillor Steve Reardon has ended up on the cityâ€™s abandoned properties list.
This year, Reardon has been levied a $1,000 fine, and he said he is fighting it.
â€œEvery effort is being made to sell or to lease the property. I have a number of brokers making efforts everyday to retail the property however the economy and the unique nature of the property and what it needs makes a deal impossible or so it seems at this juncture. The property is not abandoned just because it isnâ€™t presently leased,â€ he said. â€œThe property is empty but not abandoned,â€ he repeated.
The cityâ€™s abandoned building list is somewhat controversial, and when instituted several years ago Mayor Tom Ambrosino said he thought that there might be a challenge. However, no one ever challenged the validity of it.
The old Reardonâ€™s Pub at the corner of Beach Street and Broadway has been vacant for quite some time after being shut down by the state Department of Revenue for non-payment of state taxes.
Since that time, the property has not been kept up at all – routinely having overgrown weeds, lots of trash and litter and the occasional abandoned car. It also is not fenced off.
Reardon, an attorney by trade, said he doesnâ€™t agree with the cityâ€™s designation of his familyâ€™s former pub. He said his family has had the property on the market for two years, using several different brokers, and setting a sale price of $1 million.
They have had a couple of potential buyers – a restaurateur was very interested at one point – but none of those deals have panned out.
â€œIt is mainly the economy that is weighing down the effort to sell or to lease the building. I am willing, ready and able to either sell or lease the property,â€ he said again.
Given that, he said he is not planning to pay the fine until the matter is settled. He also said that he is not paying the property taxes because the property is producing not one dime to pay them. But he added, he has spoken with city officials an assured them there is plenty of equity in the building and that all the taxes will be paid ultimately.
List of abandoned/vacant properties
The City recently released its annual list of Abandoned/Vacant Properties, which comes with a fine of $500 to $3,000. Much to the chagrin of local officials, the list revealed more than 100 abandoned or vacant properties. Below is the full list. Many properties are listed multiple times, as there are multiple owners of record and true ownership is uncertain.
79 American Legion Hwy. â€“ Leemits Petroleum Inc. (Getty Station)
32 Arcadia Street â€“ Irani Alves Brandao/Luis Brandao
58 Bateman Avenue â€“ Elizabeth Andrews
18 Bates Street â€“ German Herrera/Hector Herrera
18 Bates Street â€“ BAC Home Loans, Servicing, LP
55 Beach Street â€“ BAC Home Loans, Servicing, LP
55 Bellingham Avenue â€“ OneWest Services, LLC
133 Bellingham Avenue #2 â€“ BAC Home Loans Servicing
133 Bellingham Avenue #2 â€“ Reynaldo Rodriguez
26 Beverly Street â€“ JP Morgan Chase/WaMu
174 Broadsound Avenue â€“ Vincent Neary
180 Broadsound Avenue â€“ Marion Neary/Vincent Neary
189 Broadway â€“ Patrick Reardon/Stephen Reardon
334 Broadway â€“ Frank Carideo
675 Broadway â€“ Broadway Realty Trust/Michael Venditto
698 Broadway â€“ Omotayo Ajiboye
47 Calumet Street â€“ Alan Campbell
114 Cecilian Avenue â€“ Marcus DeSousa
58 Central Avenue â€“ Lena Hariri
35 Cheever Street â€“ HomeEq. Servicing
50 Clark Road â€“ George Westbrooks
50 Clark Road â€“ The Estate of George Westbrooks/Dorothy Taylor
24 Clifton Street â€“ Richard Milligan
24 Clifton Street â€“ Elizabeth Lonardo, Esq.
24 Clifton Street â€“ Federal Home Loan Mortgage Co.
251 Conant Street â€“ Atlantic & Pacific Real Estate
251 Conant Street â€“ Ever Rodas/Zoila Rodas
14 Dashwood Street â€“ Home Eq/Bank of NY Mellon Trust
41 Eastern Avenue â€“ Antonio Restaino
116 Eastern Mountain Avenue â€“ Loiacono Brunella
116 Eastern Mountain Avenue â€“ BAC Home Loans Servicing
34 Ellerton Street â€“ Diane Dellorusso/Matthew Dellorusso
34 Ellerton Street â€“ BAC Home Loans Servicing
52 Ellerton Street â€“ Fannie Mae
52 Ellerton Street â€“ Century 21 Mario Real Estate
1 Endicott Avenue â€“ Roman Catholic Archbishop of Boston
2 Endicott Avenue â€“ Archdiocese of Boston
2 Endicott Avenue â€“ Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bosotn
109 Eustis Street â€“ Nicholas DeFilippo
22 Fairfield Street â€“ Rosario Sarro
53 Fairfield Street â€“ The Carifio Family Realty Trust
80 Fenno Street â€“ Michele Montina
80 Fenno Street â€“ BAC Field Services Corp.
237 Fenno Street â€“ Frank Vitiello/Dorothy Vitiello
253 Fenno Street â€“ BAC Home Loans Servicing
253 Fenno Street â€“ BAC Field Services Corp.
301 Fenno Street â€“ Keith Goodrich
301 Fenno Street â€“ BAC Home Loans Servicing
13-15 Francis Street â€“ Bunrith Sun
13-15 Francis Street â€“ BAC Home Loans Servicing
10 Franklin Avenue #106 â€“ Hector Guerrero
10 Franklin Avenue #106 â€“ BAC Home Loans Servicing
10 Franklin Avenue #207 â€“ HomeEq Servicing
10 Franklin Avenue #207 â€“ Federal National Mortgage Assoc.
14 Franklin Avenue â€“ Federal Home Loan Mortgage Co.
46 Franklin Avenue â€“ Faiza Bensadok
46 Franklin Avenue â€“ HomeEq Servicing
52 Franklin Avenue â€“ Touhami Mehdi
30 Genessee Street â€“ Jacy Desouza
108 Geneva Street â€“ Seema Pal/Jai Pal
108 Geneva Street â€“ BAC Field Services Corp.
74 Grover Street â€“ Federal National Mortgage Assoc. (Fannie Mae)
19 Harrington Street â€“ Francisco Pereira
19 Harrington Street â€“ BAC Field Services Corp.
38 Highland Street â€“ BAC Home Loans Servicing
38 Highland Street â€“ BAC Field Services Corp.
16 Hyde Street â€“ Rosa Bojorquez/Romeo Landaverde
35 Jarvis Street â€“ Marie Claude
86 Jones Road â€“ Elvin Esmurria/Annie Esmurria
87 Jones Road â€“ Robert Maltacea/Billie-Jo Maltacea
46 Lynnway â€“ Richard Silverio
38 Madison Street â€“ Antonio Demorais
186 Malden Street â€“ Maritza Montecinos
390 Malden Street â€“ Fannie Mae
390 Malden Street â€“ Century 21 Mario Real Estate
45 McCoba Street #52 â€“ Marcello Falcon
45 McCoba Street #52 â€“ HomeEq Servicing
93 Milano Avenue â€“ Margarita Ortiz
229 Mountain Avenue â€“ Premiere Asset Services
229 Mountain Avenue â€“ Century 21 Mario Real Estate
10 Nerious Avenue â€“ David Schweim/Brooke Garceau
10 Nerious Avenue â€“ BAC Loans, Servicing
16 North Avenue â€“ Loreena Lamarca/James Celona
1069 North Shore Road â€“ David Sullivan
1111 North Shore Road â€“ NE Heritage Property Corp.,
1539 North Shore Road â€“ George Mozek
1644 North Shore Road â€“ Federal Home Loan Mortg. Co. (Freddie Mac)
182-184 North Shore Road â€“ Hiram Ortega
182-184 North Shore Road â€“ America Home Mtg. Servicing
15 Oak Island Road â€“ Joseph Woods/Ann Cheri Woods
15 Oak Island Road â€“ BAC Home Loans Servicing
17 Oak Island Road â€“ Joseph Woods
40 Oak Island Road â€“ Carmella Imbrescia/Carmella Belibasakis
1 Oak Tree Lane â€“ Deutsche Bank Natl Trust Co.
90 Ocean Avenue â€“ Saratoga Trust/David Chin
27 Page Street â€“ Fannie Mae
27 Page Street â€“ Century 21 Mario Real Estate/Thomas Mario
39 Porter Avenue #1 â€“ Salvatore Cantone
39 Porter Avenue #1 â€“ Federal Home Loan Mortgage Co. (Freddie Mac)
39A Philomena Avenue â€“ Stephen Oâ€™Connor/Amanda Oâ€™Connor
311 Proctor Avenue â€“ Dorothy Spinazolla/Anthony Spinazoll
311 Proctor Avenue â€“ Liquidation Properties, Inc.
449 Proctor Avenue â€“ Federal National Mortgage Assoc. (Fannie Mae)
14 Putnam Road â€“ Lillian Anderson
14 Putnam Road â€“ Nationâ€™s First/Brosnan Realty
35 Reservoir Avenue â€“ Ocwen Loan Servicing
532 Revere Beach Blvd. â€“ Fiesta Agency
532 Revere Beach Blvd. â€“ Joseph Lasden/Queen Anne Building
596 Revere Beach Blvd. â€“ Paul Coleman
429 Revere Beach Pkwy. â€“ HSBC Mortgage Services, Inc.
765 Revere Beach Pkwy. â€“ John Levantakis
154 Ridge Road â€“ John McLaughlin/Danae McLaughlin
154 Ridge Road â€“ BAC Home Loans Servicing
315B Ridge Road â€“ Leslie Gast/Heidi Thomson
315B Ridge Road â€“ BAC Loans Servicing
315B Ridge Road â€“ Century 21 Mario Real Estate/Thomas Mario
69 Rose Street â€“ Federal National Mortgage Assoc. (Fannie Mae)
347 Salem Street â€“ Karen Griffen-Ward/David C. Ward
347 Salem Street â€“ Kyle Shinnick
46 Shirley Avenue â€“ Federal Home Loan Mortgage Co. (Freddie Mac)
164 Shirley Avenue â€“ Steven Gelerman
176 Shirley Avenue â€“ Gelerman Family Trust
85 Squire Road â€“ Dominik Lay
85 Squire Road â€“ Kottier Inc. DBA Burger King
339 Squire Road â€“ Weston Atlantic As Limited/Par Wilder-Manley Assoc.
49 Stone Street â€“ Orlys Machado
53 Thorndike Street â€“ Pauline Destattier/William Galla
34 True Street â€“ Arthur Orlandino
459 Vane Street â€“ Deutsche Bank Natl Trust
33-35 Victoria Street â€“ Jaime Giron
33-35 Victoria Street â€“ BAC Field Services Corp,
147 Walnut Avenue â€“ Richard Tan
220 Walnut Avenue â€“ Robert Damiano
220 Walnut Avenue â€“ Federal National Mortgage Assoc. (Fannie Mae)
14 Washburn Avenue â€“ Judith Farrell
16 Washburn Avenue â€“ Judith Farrell
66 Washington Avenue â€“ Julio Ramos/Janet Santiago
66 Washington Avenue â€“ Field Asset Services
66 Washington Avenue â€“ Chase WaMu Home Mortgage
19 Wave Avenue #2 â€“ Chase WaMu Home Mortgage
1015 Winthrop Avenue â€“ American Home Mortg. Servicing
1043 Winthrop Avenue â€“ Catherine Pires