A Closer Look at DC’s Vacant Land

  • February 20, 2015

by UrbanTurf Staff

A Closer Look at DC's Vacant Land: Figure 1

On Friday, DC’s Office of Revenue Analysis continued its deep dive into the the more wonky side of the city with a look at vacant land across the District that could possibly be developed one day. Using the city’s real property tax database, the department determined that there are 300 million square feet of vacant land in the city, amounting to about a fifth of the total taxable land in DC.

Here are some interesting statistical points pulled out by the city’s District Measured blog:

  • 14 percent of the vacant land is privately owned, and concentrated in zip codes 20017 through 20020, and 20002.
  • 24 million square feet are owned by non-profits, and 34 million square feet owned by the city.
  • A huge chunk of the remaining vacant land (197 million square feet) is owned by the U.S. government; 133 million of those square feet are east of the Anacostia River.

The blog post goes on to relate the amount of vacant land to the city’s expected housing needs in the next 25 years, pointing to an Office of Planning estimate that the city will need to add 175,000 new housing units or 200 million new square feet of residences by 2040.

From the blog post:

Twenty five years is not a very long time, so if we limit our new construction to privately owned vacant land only, to meet the 200 million mark, we would have to see a floor-area-ratio of 4 or greater—that is the usable construction area is four times or grater than the size of the lot. This is pretty dense. But of course there are other sources of land including parking lots, older buildings or properties with underutilized capacity.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/a_closer_look_at_dcs_vacant_land/9557

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