November 17, 2022

City of Chicago Makes 2,000 Vacant Lots Available for Private Purchase

Mayor Lightfoot unveils new web portal to facilitate sale of surplus land

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO — Today, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot announced two thousand vacant City lots are available for purchase and redevelopment by private buyers through a new land sale portal at This effort is part of a comprehensive improvement plan to replace all of the City’s land sale programs with a universal application process. The “ChiBlockBuilder” online portal includes an interactive map of available properties, pricing information, and a digital submission process that will foster infill development and open space projects within local neighborhoods.

“Our goal with ChiBlockBuilder is simple: to put vacant land to productive use in a community-driven way,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “Vacant land presents an opportunity for our residents and businesses to create the change they want to see in their communities.”

The land is for sale for specific uses: side yards for adjacent neighbors, community open spaces such as gardens or plazas, housing developments, and commercial developments. Each of the 2,000 lots has an established market value and environmental clearance for purchase by the public, eliminating time-consuming and expensive processes for environmental reviews and appraisals that buyers previously had to take on. Each lot will be transferred through a quitclaim deed.

Applicants that are owner/occupants of adjacent properties or community organizations creating open space are eligible to purchase lots at 10% of their market values. Applicants can also use ChiBlockBuilder to apply for lots to develop as affordable housing through the Chicago Department of Housing’s City Lots for Working Families (CL4WF) program.

ChiBlockBuilder consolidates multiple programs the City previously used to sell surplus land, including the Adjacent Neighbors Land Acquisition Program (ANLAP), Sealed Bid program, Negotiated Sale program, and Large Lots program.

“This is an opportunity to bring much-needed infill housing to neighborhoods,” Department of Planning and Development (DPD) Commissioner Maurice Cox said. “The new, centralized interface eliminates the confusion that we heard from a lot of would-be buyers about how to purchase City land, how much it costs, and what environmental work may be needed.”

The 2,000 lots are among approximately 10,000 owned by the City, most of which were acquired through foreclosures and demolition liens dating as far back as the 1950s. Almost 90% of the lots currently available for purchase are located in the 10 community areas participating in Mayor Lightfoot’s INVEST South/West revitalization strategy.

Applications will be accepted through February 3, 2023. DPD will host three online webinars for potential purchasers this winter to answer questions about the process. Priority consideration will be given to adjacent property owners and applicants proposing to build new housing or other improvements that benefit the neighborhood.

Additional City lots will be made available throughout 2023. For more information, visit