Purchasing Properties

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Purchasing Properties

Tour the Property
The URA requires that you make an appointment to tour the property you're interested in before you submit an application. All properties are sold on an "as is" basis. You may schedule an appointment to tour up to two (2) properties per day.

Applying for a Property
Once you have seen the property, you can submit an application. Along with the application, you must submit a developer's fee (the amount is listed on the first page of the application) and copies of financial statements. If your offer is not accepted, your developer’s fee will be refunded.

(Note: It takes up to 6 weeks for you to receive the refund.)

Your financial statements must show that you have enough money to cover the amount that you are offering on the property, the estimated repairs that you list in the application on page 2 (Redevelopment Proposal), as well as the back water and solid waste charges.

An application received without both the developer’s fee and the financial statements will be viewed as incomplete and will not be accepted.


We hold applicants strictly to all City codes.  Any plumbing or electrical work must be done by “City Licensed” contractors.  This is not work you can do yourself. Keep this in mind when developing your Redevelopment Proposal

A list of all City Licensed plumbers/electricians can be found on the city web site under Codes.

URA Procedures
Acceptance of your application by URA staff does not automatically guarantee your offer will be placed on the next URA Meeting Agenda.

  • The property must have been marketed for 30 days prior to the meeting.

  • You must list all property you currently own in the City of Utica on the application. This data will be submitted to the Codes and Comptroller’s Office for searches of codes violations and delinquent taxes.

  • Urban Renewal Agency staff performs a search of all properties owned and then provides the information regarding any violations/delinquencies to the URA Board via the agenda. The Board then decides if they accept or reject the application based on this and other information. They may require that all be cleared prior to closing.

  • It is up to you, the applicant, to inform the URA when violations/delinquencies have been corrected and proof such as receipts/printouts, etc. must be provided to the URA.

Commercial Property Application
When submitting an offer on a commercial property you also need to include a business plan, along with the requirements of a standard application.

Business Plan Guidelines: 

Offers for commercial properties are required to have a business plan submitted along with the standard application and financial information.

The following are required elements for a business plan:

  1. Developer’s name, address, contact information
  2. Key personnel to be involved in the proposed project
  3. Previous project experience and qualifications
  4. Executive summary overview of the proposal
  5. Proposed purchase price
  6. Intended use for the property
  7. Financial qualifications for the proposed project
  8. Detailed action plan
    • Project Cost Estimate
    • Construction/Development Timeline (Including Proposed Phases for Implementation If Applicable)
    • Site Plans and Renderings
  1. Short & Long-Term Benefit/Impact Statement to Community (i.e. Estimated Job Creation, Tax Revenue Generation)


Raising the Amount, you offer

The URA has the option to reject any or all offers on a property. When a property has received more than 1 (one) offer, you have the option to raise your offer at any time from the submission of your application right up until you are standing in front of the URA Board, but you will only be able to bid up to the amount of money that your financial statements reflect. (Ex. Offer $10,000.00, estimated repairs $10,000.00, a total of $20,000.00 needs to be shown.)


It is better to have a financial "cushion" when submitting an application. If you show that you have $30,000.00 you will be allowed to raise your offer by $10,000.00, the difference between offer + repairs - total you have shown.)


The URA Board does not have to accept the highest offer and can choose the applicant they feel has the best fit for the property.

All properties sold are conveyed via a Quit Claim Deed. It is the responsibility of the potential buyer to check the public records for any assignments, delinquent water, solid waste charges, judgments, mortgages and liens. The phone numbers of relevant entities are on page 5 of the application.

The deadline to submit an application to purchase a property is 12:00pm (noon) on the Friday before the meeting. Meetings are held on the second and fourth Thursday of each month, at 9:30am in the Common Council Chambers on the 1st floor of Utica City Hall. Only those properties for which we have completed applications will be reviewed at this meeting.

Buyers are required to attend the meeting at which your offer will be reviewed. All meetings are open to the public. Note: All meeting dates are subject to change, without notice. It is your responsibility to contact the URA the day before the scheduled meeting date to confirm if the meeting will be held or has been rescheduled.

Closing will take place within two (2) months of acceptance. Buyers have one year to complete renovations to the property.

Post Purchase Responsibilities

  • Applicants will close on a property within 60 days of notice of the Common Council’s approval.  Subject to the following:
    • As a general rule, Applicants will close on a property within 60 days of the notice of approval by the Common Council. In most situations involving the sale of an existing residential structure or a vacant lot that is to remain so (with only fencing, landscaping, paving but no structure), this timeline will not be difficult to achieve.
    • In the event that closing is not attained in the said time period, and an extension is not obtained after a written request to the Agency and approval by the Board of Directors, the Developer will forfeit the developer’s fee that had been paid.
    • You will be required to commence your redevelopment proposal within 30 days of closing and to complete the renovations in one year.
    • When your renovations are complete you will be required to pass a Codes inspection to confirm you have received all pertinent permits – Plumbing, Electrical, and Building permits, as per your Redevelopment Plan.


  • In commercial, or more complex proposed developments, e.g., those involving outside financing such as:
    • a building loan and then permanent financing,
    • applications for grant funds with deferred submission and/or award dates months in the future,
    • the need for preparing substantial and extensive building plans,
    • title and zoning issues to be reviewed and cleared, and,
    • environmental questions that require testing and then DEC involvement. Such as a Phase I or Phase II investigation.


Therefore, the processing of each such complex development will be regulated on an ad hoc basis without regard to a “Red Line Time Standard”.


  • Applicants are responsible for all delinquent County taxes, delinquent water charges, assignments of City taxes, delinquent waste charges, governmental and private liens and encumbrances, if applicable, and any other taxes that become due from taking title of the property.
  • Applicants must inquire at the appropriate offices to determine the amounts of the delinquent taxes, water charges, waste charges and other applicable items.
  • Once you close on a property you are responsible for all fees, costs and taxes associated with the property as noted above.
  • Applicants will receive a Quitclaim Deed to the property purchased and are responsible for any recording and filing fees upon closing of a sale with the Urban Renewal Agency.
  • Once you close on a property a new deed will need to be filed and then recorded. The City Assessor’s fee to file the deed is $30.00. The Oneida County Clerk fees for recording the Land Disposition Agreement and the new deed will range from $350 to $475 depending on the price of the parcel and whether it is a vacant, commercial and/or improved parcel.

If you have any questions, would like to see a property list, receive an application or set up an appointment to view a property, email or call us and we will be glad to help you. Email – gallen@cityofutica.com. Office: (315) 792-0112.