Lake County endorses Gary’s efforts to seize vacant property

This photo taken Monday, Oct. 20, 2014, shows an abandoned home at 1800 E. 19th Ave. in Gary, Indiana. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
This photo taken Monday, Oct. 20, 2014, shows an abandoned home at 1800 E. 19th Ave. in Gary, Indiana. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) — The Lake County Board of Commissioners has permitted Gary to go to court to seize vacant lots and abandoned buildings.

Gary officials have previously said they want to collect up to 3,500 parcels in the next year and turn them over to MaiaCo LLC, a private redevelopment partner with ties to former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, who serves as a volunteer adviser to the project.

Commissioners say those who buy and hold multiple tax sale properties without paying their future tax bills, and then seek bankruptcy protection, are holding back the future of Gary.

Jim Nowaki, a Gary resident who owns about 300 properties, tells The (Northwest Indiana) Times that the effort targets him and other private developers who buy tax-delinquent properties at county government auctions with the hope of attracting new business and homeowners.

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