A home to live in?
Land Bank properties are not suitable for living in. Most are vacant lots, and most of the buildings are shells. For more information about finding a home to live in, please visit our FAQs.
A development opportunity?
Sometimes the Land Bank will solicit potential buyers, usually to develop a property or properties, through a Request for Proposals (RFP). You can sign up to receive email notification when development opportunities are posted or search our available development opportunities.
Visit our Development Opportunities page for more information.
Looking for vacant land, but don’t yet have a specific property in mind? You can search our inventory and use our map view to see what properties are for sale all over the city. While you’re in the map view you can see different neighborhoods, and you can zoom in to get a more specific location. If you click on the “For Sale” sign on the property you can learn the price, the size and the zoning of the parcel. If there’s not a “For Sale” sign on the property, then it’s not for sale.
If you find a property you’re interested in, you can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to offer to purchase the property. First, register in our system so that we can keep you informed as to the status of your inquiry. Next, click on the “For Sale” sign to “Express Interest” and follow the instructions to submit your EOI for the property.
If the property your interested in is available, is valued under $50,000 and you are the only interested buyer, we will respond to your expression of interest by sending you an application and tax certification form to complete as part of starting process to obtain the required approvals. Know that if the property is over $50,000 the price will not be published on the website. In these cases we realize that the market is changing quickly, and to be accurate in assessing the value of the property, an appraisal or a competitive sale process will be initiated to insure the City garners the highest price for the property. For these properties we encourage you to express interested and you will hear from staff regarding the competitive sale process. Also, in cases where a property has many expressions of interest from many potential buyers, no matter the price, there will be a competitive sale process to facilitate an open process for all interested buyers to have the opportunity to submit their highest best offer for a property.
For more information on property sales and how the Land Bank is required to conduct sales transactions, please reference the City of Philadelphia Policies for the Sale of Land and Reuse (2014).
A vacant building?
Actually, we don’t have very many vacant buildings in our inventory. In fact, if you’re looking specifically for a building, searching our inventory probably isn’t the best way to find one. You are probably better off finding a building you’re interested in and then search to see if we own it and if it’s for sale. If we don’t own it, you can visit www.phila.gov/opa and use the Property Search tool to find out who does.
A yard can be a great addition to your home. And if there is a vacant, city-owned lot next to or behind your house, you might be able to buy it. Vacant buildings are not eligible.
Not every property is eligible for the side yard program. If the home values near the property are above $75,000, the property probably isn’t available for a side yard. (The exception is for a next-door property owner who has lived there for seven years.)
If the home values are less than $75,000, and the property abuts your property on the side or the back, you can submit an Expression of Interest to buy it. (You may have to register or log in first.) You will not have to pay more than a nominal amount for the property, but you will have to pay closing costs based on the property’s fair market value.
As with all Land Bank property sales, you cannot owe back taxes or have any liens on a property that you currently own.
Land for a community garden?
There are few things that bring a neighborhood together more than a community garden. You find a vacant lot, you work the soil, and soon you and your neighbors have fresh produce, or maybe beautiful flowers. Just as importantly, your community has a gathering spot. First you’ll need to register in our system. This will help us keep you informed as to the status of your inquiry.
Check in with your District Councilperson and let his or her staff know that you’re interested in the property. Council plays a part in the sale of our property and it’s good to keep them in the loop. The City will also notify the district council person as well. If we need more information a representative from the Land Bank will contact you. Sometimes, we want to see whether you have a maintenance plan, or perhaps we will ask you to share how the garden will benefit your neighbors.
If your plans are in good shape the Land Bank will give you a Community Garden Agreement to fill out and sign. Community Gardens need insurance, and the details will be outlined in your Agreement.
Once you complete the Community Garden Agreement, you and your neighbors will be able to garden on the property for up to five years.