Developers and lenders: Here’s how to find vacant land you can build on

Vacant lot at 456 West 31st Street (Credit: Google Maps)
Vacant lot at 456 West 31st Street (Credit: Google Maps)

Looking to develop a new building? You are not alone. Over 3,900 new building permits were filed with the Department of Buildings in 2017 thus far, which account for buildings of any size in the earliest stages of development across the five boroughs. Each of these filed permits represent a building that will be constructed over the next few years. A prospective developer or lender can keep tabs on these projects, looking for signs of distress that may imply that the project is a candidate for purchase or refinancing but there’s no telling which projects will need help or show signs of it when they do.

Instead of focusing on projects that may very well be chugging along without a hitch, developers and lenders should be seeking out a particular list of potentially lucrative real estate: lots that have been demolished but have not filed permits for a new building.

TRData has assembled over 7,000 demolition permits filed throughout the five boroughs that correspond to demolitions occurring between April 2013 and November 2017, nearly 2,000 of which were filed so far this year. We’ve taken this list of demolition permits and compared it to the list of every new building project filed with the Department of Buildings, enabling us to determine which addresses received demolitions but have no current plans of constructing a new building in its place. We’ve taken this exercise a step further by cross-referencing our list of properties without new building job filings with the list of properties that performed zoning lot mergers, the act of combining multiple parcels of land into one new lot with a single identification number.

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Our list of demolished lots without new building permits filed contains over 2,000 addresses. Each address contains the property’s BBL, BIN, zip code, zone district, building class of demolished building, lot square footage, residential FAR, commercial FAR, facility FAR, land use, lot frontage, lot depth, owner’s name, owner’s business address, owner’s business phone number and owner’s email address.

Click here to download a free sample of 5 properties located in Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens that have been demolished and have not yet filed a new building permit with the Department of Buildings.

Contact Derek Smith at or (646) 503-3561 to learn more about pricing and request a free custom sample