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Last week I unpacked New York City’s parcel make-up. To refresh, there are over 850,000 parcels in the city’s five boroughs, and a little more than 90,000 of these are within Qualified Opportunity Zones. This week, we’ll look at them by borough, and see what Property Use Types are allowed. These data sets will provide the where and what type of development we may see in the near future.  

Here is a percentage breakout of the parcels within the Opportunity Zones, by city.

Where to look.

The largest boroughs have the most parcels that qualify: Brooklyn has about 39,000 parcels, Queens has over 25,000 parcels, and the Bronx has about 15,000 parcels. For more detailed information, refer to last week’s post.

What property type to target.

The two graphs below reveal what the parcels are comprised of. Each graph is broken out by a specific land type, with the property use types allowed on them. There are only 5,240 vacant land parcels in total that qualify throughout the city, which suggests that there are minimal new development opportunities. Of these, parcels zoned for hotel, office, and industrial are limited. The largest use allowed is retail, followed by residential and single family.

NYC Opportunity Zones: Vacant Parcels

This type of data provides valuable insight into the existing OZ market. For instance, simple supply and demand may suggest that vacant parcels that allow hotel, office or industrial uses are cost prohibitive due to their lack of availability. Vacant parcels that allow residential or retail uses are more abundant, which makes for more options and less competition.

Parcels with existing buildings lend themselves to multifamily rehab projects. Of all parcels with existing buildings in Opportunity Zones in NYC (92,400 parcels approximately), 90% are zoned for multifamily, single family is allowed in 82% of them, while around 15% allow retail, office or industrial.

NYC Opportunity Zones: Existing Building Parcels


From a development perspective, it was evident early on where to allocate my analysis resources, by simply understanding where and what type of availability is in the city. These data sets are a simple start to a much more complex, comprehensive process of development analysis.

Vacant land, and thus ‘new development’ scenarios, seem costly due to the little amount of parcels available and the restrictions of property uses allowed. Parcels with existing buildings on them would lean towards rehab or redevelopment projects.

Each land type provides ample opportunity for very specific, targeted development projects in the biggest, most competitive real-estate market in the country.

Next Week:  Potential Total Gross Buildable breakout.  I’ll look into the zoning and parcels to identify where in the city the biggest projects could be developed.