Available City Properties
City-Owned Properties for Sale
Over the decades, the City has become the owner of a large inventory of properties. Most of these properties were acquired as part of an effort to tear down blighted buildings. Today, because of changes to the laws empowering municipalities to carry out such demolitions, the City no longer needs to acquire as many properties. Staff are now focused on selling off vacant lots owned by the City and reducing the burden on taxpayers by putting these properties back on the tax rolls. Below is a listing of all the properties available for sale. Identifying information, including size and zoning, are included. Most properties are small and may not be large enough for new construction. However, many of those smaller properties would useful for adjacent property owners who need more yard space. Take a look and see if the vacant lot next to your property is on the list.
How Sale Prices Are Determined
Most of the properties owned by the City were acquired through tax auction. A smaller number were acquired through donation or legal action. Generally speaking, the City sets the sale price as the original cost of acquisition plus all closing costs. The closing costs include legal fees, title work, and the recording fee. Most properties have a sale price between $600 and $1,200. Closing costs vary, but are typically between $600 and $800. The City sets prices this way so that the taxpayer comes out even in the transaction. The goal is not to make a profit on any sales, but also to take no loss. A more detailed breakdown of how prices are determined is as follows.
- Residentially zoned properties are sold for whatever the original acquisition cost to the City was plus all closing costs. Other previously incurred costs associated with the property, including demolition, are not factored into the asking price because it is not considered reasonable for most potential purchasers.
- When an original acquisition cost cannot be reliably determined because the property was acquired in the distant past, generally meaning more than fifty years ago, the asking price will default to one dollar ($1) plus closing costs.
- Business, office, and industrially zoned properties are sold in the same manner as residentially zoned properties. However, a potential purchaser may negotiate a lower price as part of a development agreement that requires improvements to the property that increase its taxable value. A clause will be included in all such development agreements stating that failure to meet the terms shall result in the purchaser paying the City whatever the original acquisition cost of the property was as a penalty.
- Business, office, and industrially zoned properties that the economic development team have identified as having high development potential are priced differently. In such cases, the economic development team will propose an alternative asking price to the City Council for approval.
- Properties that staff have determined cannot be reasonably developed to any degree due to their extreme physical characteristics, including but not limited to ravine properties, may have a reduced price.
Before You Buy
It is important to be careful when considering a property purchase. Many of the properties available to purchase from the City are small, may be strangely shaped, or have difficult topography. Before you make an offer to purchase, make sure to confirm that the property you are looking at is right for you and zoned appropriately. Staff cannot guarantee that later requests for rezoning or variances will be approved.