While the late 1990s have witnessed the rapid escalation of development pressures throughout Manhattan, sizeable clusters of vacant land lie dormant in the surrounding boroughs. In neighborhoods of Central Brooklyn, the South Bronx, and portions of Southeastern Queens, many of these unused parcels languish in the city’s real estate portfolio.

Widespread tax default and abandonment during the 1960s and 1970s, combined with earlier urban renewal acquisitions, resulted in the accumulation of an extensive public sector portfolio of vacant lands. Starting with the Koch administration’s 10-year plan, the city began to dispose of its vacant properties in a manner that would encourage reuse and promote community revitalization. Infill housing projects using these lands have contributed to repopulation in many deserted communities. The city has also selected certain parcels for redevelopment as commercial space to expand economic opportunities and support residential development. As a result of this reinvestment, even the poorest areas are realizing some of the benefits of market expansion.

Click here (pdf) to read more on the Giuliani Administration’s disposition policy.