Dozens of homes ravaged by Hurricane Sandy and bought by the state will soon be up for sale in a special auction. NY1's Bree Driscoll has the details.
John Duffy and other residents of New Dorp Beach are surrounded by the sounds of construction.
"That is the new normal I guess," said Duffy.
After making it through the flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy, Duffy is still not sure he wants to stay. But he's excited about the new development.
"That's definitely a godsend to some people," said Duffy. "Because you know we never thought something like Hurricane Sandy would happen."
The rebuilding is taking another step forward now that the state has scheduled an auction of some of the damaged homes it purchased after the hurricane.
"I think Staten Island is really going through a rebirth," Executive Director of the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery, Lisa Bova-Hiatt said. "We see a lot of economic development on the North Shore and we want to see better housing stock Mid-Island and on the South Shore.
Sixty-two city properties — all acquired by the state after the hurricane — will be auctioned at Staten Island's Hilton Garden Inn on May 10.
Fifty-five are on Staten Island, six in Queens and one in Brooklyn.
The homes had pre-storm values of as much as $565,000.
Buyers must raise the elevation of the homes to meet new building requirements, and obtain a certificate of occupancy within three years.
"This gives the option of moving away and having someone who does have the appetite to rebuild and elevate and every single property that gets auctioned, every single home that gets rebuilt makes the entire neighborhood more resilient," Bova-Hiatt said.
This will be the state's third auction, but the first of city properties. Residents are eager to have the process begin here.
"It gets a lot of these zombie homes or homes that people left, that were empty properties, empty lots back to being developed," said one New Dorp Beach Resident.
"It’s a good idea really to make the area more developed instead of everywhere you find abandoned houses," said another.
Interested bidders must examine appraisals and other documents at Paramount Realty USA's web site. On the day of the auction, bidders must bring a certified or cashier's check for $25,000. The process begins with open houses in April.