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How we sell the City's land and buildings

Last updated: 7/11/16

How we sell the City's land and buildings

We sell City property to developers who want to make the community better. Learn about the qualifications and process.

WHO WE SELL TO

We sell our property through a competitive process called a Request for Proposal. We have specific things we look for when selecting a buyer, including:

  • price and proof of financing, and
  • experience with development.

By law, we can only choose a buyer who meets all our requirements. We don’t list our properties with brokers or take offers.

WHAT WE SELL

Not all of our property is available to buy. Some areas, like underwater parcels or floodplains, can't be developed. We won't sell property that is undevelopable. We also don't sell property that's meant for public open spaces, like our urban wilds.

We ask ourselves two main questions when we decide whether or not to sell City property:

  1. Will the current real estate market support the development?
  2. Does the local community want the property to be developed?  

We get the community involved when we’re ready to sell. Usually, this happens through public meetings and online through our property.boston.gov platform. Local residents help shape our requirements for the Requests for Proposals. Developers present their ideas to the community for feedback. 

Still have questions? Contact:
Neighborhood Development
26 Court Street
8th, 9th, and 11th Floors
Boston, MA 02108-2501
United States

When you buy City property

We have to make sure the property qualifies for development before we put it on the market. Submitting a Request for Proposal doesn’t necessarily start the process. We make sure your plans meet the community's needs before moving forward.

We won't sell property to buyers who want to hold onto the property and wait to develop when the market improves. You have to start developing within the time frame we give you. If you don’t, we either grant you an extension or take back the property.

Sometimes, we'll sell property to use as open space or parking. The property will come with a covenant that protects it from further development.

Development projects in Boston

We developed a list so the public can learn about real estate projects we're working on. You can browse our active projects and give us your opinion on them.

Our property.boston.gov feature has information about properties in all stages of development. If you got a notice about a property sale, you can find that information here.

Get started with the property search