Property audit reveals holes in property management in San Jose



San Jose owns over 1,250 properties, including the City Hall, parks and livelihoods such as San Jose International Airport. But, as a recent city audit showed, there is no consolidated inventory, making management and maintenance difficult.

Whenever there is a question about city-owned property, officials should do extensive department research and use a third-party database to get information about what the property is and who is managing it.

“It’s a big city and each department manages real estate differently,” urban auditor Joe Royce told San José Spotlight. “(The Real Estate Services Department) wanted software to help them for years, but they couldn’t handle it.”

Royce has spearheaded a property audit this year – the first in over a decade – to offer solutions for the lack of centralized property management.

Real estate auditing has become a priority during the pandemic as a way to identify locations for COVID-19 vaccination centers and homeless shelter… He also mentioned that the city needs a real estate database in order to provide efficient maintenance services for its properties, especially an empty one.

“Potential problems with weeds, graffiti, lighting and cleanliness are a real concern for residents, and at least the city should not contribute to this,” Royce said.

The check also showed that the city does not have an up-to-date inventory of free objects; The list was last updated in 2015.

According to Nancy Klein, director of economic development, the city owns about 25 vacant lots classified as unfit for recreation or housing due to their location in areas such as buffer lands and the Singleton landfill.

The Real Estate Services Department will submit a full list of vacant properties to the Committee for Economic Development and Community in November, and then will update this list annually.

Royce stressed that the city has not lost its vacant real estate, but rather a matter of disorganization.

“It looks like (the city) is dealing with them, it was more about how effective the process of identifying these things was,” he said. “We work for the residents and try to work as efficiently as possible, because if this is not the case, we are simply more expensive.”

According to the latest real estate audit, this car park is one of several free urban areas. San Jose does not have an up-to-date inventory of unused land. Photo by Alejandra Arevalo.

The audit made recommendations for improving the tracking and maintenance of city property, all of which the city council approved on Tuesday. Proposals include the creation of a centralized real estate database and the creation of an annual vacancy report.

Kevin Ice, senior manager of real estate services, said the city should have a fully operational real estate database by the end of the year. The city has allocated $ 105,000 to build the platform.

“We are very happy about this, now we live in Excel spreadsheets,” Ice said at the board meeting. “We have a good opportunity to really improve our work with an improved database.”

Contact Alejandra Arevalo at [email protected] and follow her @alejandrareval_on Twitter.


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