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Web Site Promotes City's Real Estate

September 30, 1997|DARRELL SATZMAN

In a high-tech attempt to stir interest in surplus real estate, the Los Angeles General Services Department has created an Internet site offering detailed information about city properties to be sold at auction.

The Web site, which came online this month, currently provides information on 12 properties--including a Sherman Oaks hillside lot--that are scheduled to be auctioned Oct. 20, said Jess Romo, a city real estate officer who helped develop the experimental program.

"More and more people are using the Internet. This is pretty cheap advertising for us," Romo said. "I'm hopeful that this will be an effective way to advertise the properties. We will measure it over time to see."

The site, which can be accessed both directly and from the main city Web site, contains dates and procedures for upcoming auctions as well as summaries and digitally scanned photographs and parcel maps of the properties for sale.

In July 1996, the city held the first in a series of planned auctions intended to build up its shrinking coffers and put vacant property back on the tax rolls. That auction, which included 12 parcels in Venice, brought in more than $2 million.

Only one of the properties to be sold in October, a vacant residential lot on Sumac Drive in Sherman Oaks, is located in the Valley, Romo said. Others are located in Venice, Silver Lake and Chinatown.

Romo said that while the city tries to get as much as it can for surplus property, sale prices are often less than market value.

"I would say that these are seen as deals," Romo said. "We're selling them all in one day, so they have to be priced competitively."

The Internet address for the surplus property Web site is http://www/ci.la.ca.us/dept/GSD/assets/first.htm

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