City program saves Midtown houses

eddie tapperBy Joe Lambe

Eddie Tapper wants to sell you houses. Not just any houses, but saved houses.

The city has about 6,000 vacant and abandoned properties but the former drug house at 3320 Forest Ave. is no longer among them.

Tapper’s company just renovated it and sold it this week for about $92,000.

It’s the third home renovated and sold by his company, Providence Partnership LLC. The houses were among more than 130 in a new city receivership program.

In it, the city identifies vacant and abandoned homes that are eligible for rescue before they are demolished.

The program allows the city to send a 60-day warning letter to owners to fix problems or the city will file in circuit court to take the property.

The judge can then assign it to private receivers like Providence to do renovation.

The companies do it at their expense and sell the houses at a profit.

In about a fourth of cases, Tapper said, the owners who get notice act to fix the property themselves. Or sometimes, as in the house on Forest, they sell it to companies like Providence.

The company also renovated and sold a historic 1903 Hyde Park home and one other. It is also working on two other Midtown homes that were in the city program, Tapper said.

The Forest house has a special appeal for him because it is across the street from an orchard he helped put in as president of the Center City neighborhood association.

He stood inside the front window of the home and looked out on the young, flowering trees.

“They should start bearing fruit this year,” he said. “The orchard makes this house special.”

But then again it has come a long way from when it was a boarded-up shell with a collapsing roof.

There’s the new roof, new heating and cooling, two new bathrooms, a new kitchen and more.

“It’s a fantastic house in a great neighborhood for under $100,000,” Tapper said.

The city program allowed that to be done at no financial risk to the city.

At the same time, investors in companies like his  help the city while they make decent returns, he said.

And people who buy the houses get good deals and also help the city, Tapper said.

By the way, did he mention: “They’re great houses and they’re a great value.”

One Comment

  1. kia says:

    That’s great but poor people cannot afford houses at $92000 even with MHDC help. Would you mind naming the city’s receivership program? If you are referring to the Land Bank, IMO it’s too convoluted for private citizens to navigate. This news is extremely disappointing because it illustrates the beginning of the gentrification of midtown. Someone really paid $92k for a house in that neighborhood?

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