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10 U.S. Cities With the Most Vacant Land Available

Land surveying
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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Point2.

In today’s busy world, it’s easy to believe every square foot of land is being utilized, especially in the nation’s largest cities.

However, that’s not always the case, with vacant lots offering a plethora of opportunities for everything from housing to economic activities.z

Considering that, CommercialCafe analyzed which U.S. cities have the most vacant land available.

1. Dallas, TX

Dallas, Texas
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Taking the No. 1 spot, Dallas leads the way with a massive 90,739 acres of vacant land split between 30,000 lots, with an average size of 2.72 acres.

In terms of construction, the city has certainly been busy, adding more than 40 million square feet of office and industrial space since 2012. At the same time, more than 46,000 Dallas residential units were delivered in the area.

Even this year, the city witnessed one of the most significant land sales in its history when the 460-acre Mountain Creek Development changed hands.

2. Fort Worth, TX

Fort Worth, Texas
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Dallas’ sister city, Fort Worth, takes the second spot on the podium, with 74,835 acres of vacant land. The average parcel size is slightly smaller, at 2.66 acres, with over 28,100 parcels available.

Compared to Dallas, most of the construction to take place in Fort Worth in recent years has been industrial.

Between 2012 and 2022, the city delivered 51 million square feet of warehousing and manufacturing space, with another 22 million square feet in the pipeline.

3. Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix, Arizona
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Phoenix is the only city in the top five that isn’t in Texas, with just over 53,000 acres of undeveloped land available. This is split between almost 15,900 parcels, with an average size of 3.34 acres, the third largest average in the rankings.

It’s worth noting that the bulk of Phoenix’s vacant land is government-owned. Indeed, the City Council has recently approved plans for 150 parcels to be developed into affordable housing.

4. San Antonio, TX

View of downtown San Antonio, Texas.
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San Antonio takes the fourth spot with around 48,800 acres of vacant land on offer, split between almost 35,000 parcels, with an average size of 1.4 acres.

Like Fort Worth, the city has also focused on industrial developments in recent years, with around 20.6 million square feet of new San Antonio industrial space added since 2012.

5. Houston, TX

Houston, Texas
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Houston trails San Antonio with 46,168 acres of undeveloped land available. This was split across more than 77,500 parcels, almost double that of San Antonio, but with an average size of just 0.6 acres.

Having added more than 86.4 million square feet of industrial and office space in the past decade, it’s way ahead of the competition, even outperforming New York City.

On top of that, the city also added more than 76,500 housing units over the same period, the second-largest volume of the 20 cities studied.

6. Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles neighborhood in San Fernando Valley
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On the West Coast, Los Angeles tops the rankings, with 42,228 acres of vacant land across 33,747 lots and an average size of 1.25 acres.

L.A. office space reigns supreme, with around 11 million square feet in the pipeline.

7. Indianapolis, IN

Indianapolis, Indiana cityscape
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As we approach the upper end of the list, we witness a noticeable drop-off regarding how much vacant land is on offer.

In seventh place, Indianapolis has just over 26,600 acres of undeveloped land available, almost half that of L.A. This is split between 23,911 lots, with an average size of 1.11 acres.

Another city focusing on industrial space, Indianapolis has delivered just 13,471 housing units since 2012, the second-lowest figure in the study.

8. Austin, TX

Austin, Texas
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The Lone Star State’s last entry in the top 10, Austin boasts around 25,100 acres of vacant land across 15,684 parcels, about half what Houston offers.

This follows a decade of intense commercial and residential development as the state capital became a hot spot for business. Indeed, Austin has added around 38.4 million square feet of office and industrial space since 2012.

On top of that, the city added the third-highest number of housing units over the same period. And, with a further 56,434 units in the construction and planning pipeline, Austin only trails NYC in this regard.

9. Jacksonville, FL

Jacksonville, Florida
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Florida’s most populous city, Jacksonville, boasts almost 24,400 acres of vacant land, split across 25,369 parcels with an average size of 0.96 acres.

Industrial space sits at the forefront in Jacksonville, with around 15.6 million square feet delivered since 2012 and a further 12.5 million in the pipeline.

10. Denver, CO

Denver, Colorado
EdgeofReason / Shutterstock.com

Rounding out the top 10, Denver has 17,692 acres of undeveloped land available, putting it just ahead of No. 11 New York City. The Mile High City boasts 8,390 vacant parcels, with an average size of 2.14 acres.

In contrast to most of the other cities in the top 10, Denver’s construction has been focused on residential projects.

Since 2012, around 48,260 new housing units have been delivered, with almost 29,000 more to see completion soon.

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