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150 storm-damaged properties to be auctioned in May

Susan Gorman sits on the porch of her

Susan Gorman sits on the porch of her former home, located on South Wellwood Avenue in Lindenhurst, which she sold to the state under NY Rising's buyback program as a result of superstorm Sandy. She's seen here on Sept. 17, 2014. Credit: Steve Pfost

The first 150 of about 700 state-owned Long Island properties, most of them damaged in superstorm Sandy, are going on the auction block in May -- at fire-sale prices.

The Governor's Office of Storm Recovery hired Paramount Realty USA, based in Garden City, to usher in the next phase of NY Rising's buyout and acquisition programs.

Properties in the first group, 81 in Nassau County and 69 in Suffolk County, will be auctioned May 19-20 at the Hyatt Regency Long Island hotel in Hauppauge.

Bidding for some properties will start at 20 percent to 30 percent of pre-storm price tags, the realty firm's website shows.

"The Buyout and Acquisition Programs exemplify the state's ongoing commitment to increasing New York's long-term resiliency," Jamie Rubin, executive director of the storm recovery agency, said in a statement.

Paramount, on its website, promotes the sale of "150 Long Island Properties, Owned by New York State, Damaged by superstorm Sandy & Other Storms."

With thumbnail photos of the inventory, much like a glossy real estate brochure, it cites the types of properties -- "Land, Fixer-Uppers, Tear Downs" -- and declares "Pre-Storm Values as High as $1,200,000" and "Minimum Bids as Low as $28,000!"

Among the properties for sale are Susan Gorman's former home on South Wellwood Avenue in Lindenhurst, one of the communities ravaged by Sandy in October 2012 that also bore the brunt of tropical storms Irene and Lee. Homes damaged by those earlier storms also are eligible for the state repair and purchase programs.

The minimum bid is $74,100 on the three-bedroom home that had a pre-storm value of $335,000, according to the auctioneer. Under the acquisition program, the house could be repaired, as long as the structure meets federal flood standards, or demolished.

Gorman, 59, now of North Bellmore, said her daughter asked half-jokingly if she would place a bid on the home she sold to the state in September.

"I am grateful I was able to get something from it," she said, referring to the sale of the home where she lived for 35 years and raised her two daughters with her late husband. "But it also feels weird. I don't want anyone else living there. I almost feel like it's still my house."

Gorman said she has gone to the house only a couple of times since the sale because it carries too many bittersweet memories. She hopes the home is not reoccupied, but razed and the property converted to some other use.

Of the 1,200 properties that the state has bought through the two programs, officials said, 500 will be "returned to nature" -- demolished and reconfigured to become buffers for future storms, in the form of wetlands or other environmentally resilient structures.

The remaining 700 properties, all on Long Island, are the ones that will be sold at auction.

Acquisitions are homes that will be demolished and repurposed, while buyouts are those that will be razed and left undeveloped. All of the buyouts on the Island are in Suffolk.

Through the acquisition program, the state so far has closed on 92 properties valued at more than $36.4 million in Nassau County and 79 properties valued at $31.2 million in Suffolk County, state officials said in a news release announcing the auctions. The median payment for those homes was more than $395,000.

Interested buyers may get information at the auctioneer's website at Paramount also has offices in Manhattan.

Officials said that proceeds from the auctions will be used "in accordance with the state's Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Action Plan, which includes allocations for multifamily affordable housing and Public Housing Assistance Relief."

Where to bid

What: Auction to sell 150 storm-damaged properties on Long Island -- 89 in Nassau and 61 in Suffolk

When: May 19 and May 20. Open houses are scheduled weekdays from April 13 to April 30.

Where: Hyatt Regency Long Island Hotel at 1717 Motor Pkwy. in HauppaugeInformation: Interested buyers may register and get more details at

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