Vacant Lot Sales

The City owns over 3000 vacant lots. Check the City Owned Real Estate Map to see if the property is available.

Select lots may bought for development, others may be bought to combine with your improved residential lot, and some may be available for temporary uses.  

If you wish to purchase a city owned lot for development, we will start an RFP (Request for Proposal) process which opens the purchase to other bidders. A price for the lot will be set based on its features (may require appraisal). Click here for the Development Proposal which should list all required items. A City team will review all proposals to select a buyer. The development should meet current zoning code. You can confer with zoning prior to submitting a proposal by coming into City Hall at 30 Church St Room 121B and asking at the permit counter.  If your plan includes a parking lot or new structure, site plan review can also be consulted prior to submitting a proposal at 121B in City Hall.


If you own a home that shares a property line with a city owned vacant lot with the same zoning, you may be able to purchase all or part of that lot to combine with your property for additional green space.  The City will make a determination if the lot is "Buildable" or "Unbuildable". 

  • For “Buildable” lots, we will provide you with a sale price (may require appraisal), in-lieu tax amount, and County recording fee. 
  • Any back taxes or code violations on property you own in the City must be paid and cleared to buy City lands. 


  • For "Unbuildable" lots we allow you to purchase all or part of the lot for $1 plus recording fees (currently $310). 
  • We must offer any other adjacent owner of the lot the chance to purchase half of the lot. If they do not respond, or do not want half the lot, you may buy full lot.
  • Once bought, the City will combine your properties into one tax parcel
  • Any back taxes or code violations on property you own in the City must be paid and cleared to buy City lands.

To inquire about an adjacent buildable or unbuildable lot,  click this link and fill out an inquiry email,  or  Print and Mail this form and follow the instructions it contains. 

Click Here for information on use for Garden Permits.
Click Here for information for Temporary License Agreements.  




  • Advance payment (Certified Checks, Cash or Money Orders) is required with signed contracts or proposals. If your proposal is not accepted or you are disqualified from the purchase, we will refund your deposit. 
  • If the purchaser is a tax-exempt organization, the organization must waive their tax exemption on the property purchased from the City for 5 years. 
  • All land sales are subject to approval by both the Director of Real Estate and the Rochester City Council 
  • The City does not have on file, or provide Land Survey's of the parcels on full or half lot sales.  
  • All sales will be fulfilled with a quitclaim deed. 
  • Once a proposal or purchase offer and funds are received it can take anywhere from 6 weeks to several months for buyer to get site control.