Looking to buy land? You may want to check out this list. It’s a map showing parcels of vacant land in Phoenix, that are for sale, sold or under review—and all of them—are owned by the City. Visitors to the site can sort properties by zip code, council district, address, price and square footage.
Hundreds of parcels ready to sell
Officials recently updated the City’s inventory of properties and identified 654 unneeded parcels. Many of these city-owned properties sit in popular urban areas and are vacant lots. That’s just what has been identified. Phoenix owns hundreds and hundreds of parcels, but the process of determining whether they are needed or unneeded and okay to sell—is slow.
Facebook Status: It’s complicated
Cities buy up land for many reasons. Civic planners must anticipate where future fire houses will be needed, road shoulders, parks or city utilities. Eminent domain can be used to widen roads, create light rail routes and bus stops. The fact that City planners must try to see into the future and anticipate needs makes determining what land should be unloaded now– a little complicated.
Let’s talk about selling that extra land the day after never
It doesn’t help that while Phoenix has a process for acquiring land, it does not have a codified system for getting rid of it. City Hall has no centralized land management; no process for indexing unneeded properties and marketing them to the public. In most cases, each individual department determines what properties it needs and letting go of what’s not needed, may not be a big priority.
Listing vacant properties
However, listing vacant properties that are sellable on the City of Phoenix website, is a start. It is now easier for interested parties to identify potential properties and at least start the process buying them. The city’s website does not include a full list of for-sale properties, but it does provide a form that prospective buyers can submit to inquire about a property.
700 parcels of land around the airport
One location home to many city-owned properties is the area around Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. In 2002 The City of Phoenix, using federal funds earmarked for noise relief, bought out some 700 homeowners living under flight paths. The city demolished most of the houses on those lots, leaving vacant fields in their place. All total, The City’s Aviation Department owns about 800 parcels in the area.
From demolition to affordable housing?
The vacancies have provided an opportunity to build much needed affordable housing. Phoenix has teamed with a developer to build 121 single-family homes on land the city owns near Broadway Road and 24th Street. More developments such as this are likely, though acquiring land that was purchased through federal grants can be tricky as well. Buying such parcels requires a competitive bid process and you guessed it—more red tape.
At Landmark Title Assurance Agency, we offer a full range of title and escrow services. Our commercial and residential teams can navigate even the most complicated, red tape covered real estate deals. We specialize in multi-state, highly complex transactions. For more information please call us at (602) 745-2800 or visit our website.