Publicly owned property in Philadelphia is sold for redevelopment by PRA and its partner agency the Philadelphia Land Bank. An inventory of publicly owned property is listed on the Land Bank’s website, where you can search for properties and submit an expression of interest.
PRA and the Land Bank sell properties for redevelopment in accordance with the City’s Disposition Policies. The Policies provide guidance about when properties can be sold at a discounted price, and provisions for community development programs, including garden agreements and side yards.
When PRA offers properties for sale through RFP or competitive bid, we do not sell properties exclusively to the highest bidder—rather to respondents who score the highest based on several factors. One of these factors is Social Impact—how a project positively impacts people and communities—and another is Economic Inclusion—how developers engage diverse contractors, suppliers, and workforce.
Properties that are sold through PRA are subject to a review and approval process, which includes approval by PRA’s Board and City Council. PRA’s development process is summarized below:
- RFP or competitive bid posted on PRA website. The City’s Disposition Policies allows for some circumstances where properties can be sold without a competitive process (for example, through the side yard program).
- Redevelopers respond with application packages and disclosures. Application package requires submission of preliminary plans, budgets, and financing plan.
- PRA reviews proposals and makes preliminary selection.
- PRA issues a Reservation Letter to pre-selected developer for a limited due-diligence period.
- Redeveloper submits a full package to PRA including more advanced plans, budgets, financing commitments, and timeline.
- PRA staff reviews plans, budgets, and financing in coordination with Philadelphia City Planning Commission staff. Larger projects may require a formal presentation to City Planning Commission.
- PRA Board hears a Resolution for developer selection. Then City Council hears a Resolution for approval and holds hearings.
- PRA executes the Redevelopment Agreement, followed by settlement and transfer of title to developer. The Redevelopment Agreement is recorded with the title.
- PRA holds a pre-construction conference with developer and their contractor to review PRA requirements and other requirements that may apply (including Economic Opportunity Plan and Prevailing Wage monitoring, if applicable).
- Developer carries out construction.
- PRA reviews completed development to determine compliance with Redevelopment Agreement. If the project is found to be in compliance, then PRA issues a Certificate of Completion, and the Redevelopment Agreement is satisfied.
If you are unsure if the property you are interested in is publicly or privately owned, please visit the Office of Property Assessment’s website.