Vacant Lot Program

There are many City-owned as well as privately owned vacant lots where you may be able to build your dream home or expand your existing home.

How to Acquire City-Owned Lots

Vacant lots (PDF) in the City’s land bank can be purchased for:

  • building owner-occupied single-family homes;
  • expanding side yards;
  • community purposes.

To acquire a City owned residential lot, complete the vacant lot application below (online or PDF version). If you have questions, call 216-491-1374 or email

Guidelines for Side Lots

  • Applicant must own and occupy the adjacent lot.
  • To qualify, applicants must be in good standing with City departments, current on property taxes, and not in foreclosure.
  • The purchase price is $1.00.
  • Successful applicants will be required to consolidate the parcel on which their home sits with the vacant lot. The survey and consolidation process costs approximately $1,000 to $3,000. Recording the new plat and filing the deed will cost approximately $100.
  • An estimate of the increased taxes as a result of combining the two parcels is available here.

Guidelines for New Construction

  • To apply, you must have already identified an architect and a builder, and received a cost estimate for construction. It is strongly recommended that you review the City’s infill guidelines and discuss your plans with the Planning Department prior to completing an application.
  • Looking for a builder? The City is partnering with Knez to build new homes on City-owned vacant lots. Learn more at the Knez website.
  • Pre-Approved Plans Available at a Great Price: View pre-approved home designs (PDF) from Shaker-based RDL Architects. For more information contact Ron Lloyd, founder and president of RDL, at 216-752-4300.

Guidelines for Community Uses

You can propose a community use for a City-owned vacant lot. These proposals will be reviewed by the Neighborhood Revitalization and Development Committee and need the support of the relevant neighborhood association. Leasing for use as a community garden is one such project, and you can find some tips on setting one up here.