Dallas Leads Big U.S. Cities in Vacant Land, Fort Worth Is 2nd, Survey Shows

Most of the vacant space is in Southern Dallas

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In a recent survey of big cities, Dallas leads the nation in vacant land. Another found a quarter of downtown Dallas covered in parking lots.

The Dallas Morning News reported that the firm Yardi Systems put Dallas at the top of the vacant property list with 90,739 vacant acres. Fort Worth was second among big cities with 74,835 vacant acres.

Some people may see the vacant space as a sign of stagnation or decay. But Dallas boosters see it as opportunity for new development in the booming North Texas region.

Some of the downtown surface parking lots are places where buildings once stood that have been waiting for years to support new structures.

In Uptown Dallas, very few surface parking lots remain, with big new development towering over everything.

“While we wish that every lot in Downtown Dallas was absolutely perfect today, we see it as a unique opportunity,” said Jennifer Scripps the president and CEO of the business group Downtown Dallas Inc which promotes the city's center.

Twenty years ago, many downtown buildings were vacant. Now, they’ve all been put to new use, so the parking lots are next.


“We know of six major projects already in the pipeline, so most of these parking lots are already spoken for,” Scripps said.

A big parking lot just south of Dallas City Hall is slated for a big high-rise project by the same developer planning a big mixed-use project on vacant land in Southern Dallas land near the University of North Texas at Dallas campus.

Most of the vacant Dallas land is in the southern sector.

University of North Texas at Dallas

Dallas Regional Chamber Senior Vice President of Inclusion and Community Engagement Latosha Herron Bruff concentrates her efforts on that area.

“I love the fact we have an eye on Southern Dallas and Southern Dallas County because it is a place full of potential,” she said.

The group Parking Reform Network found around 24% of Downtown Dallas used for parking, but scored that better than some big cities in a parking space comparison.

Warehouses have taken substantial pieces of vacant land in Southern Dallas and Fort Worth in a surge of industrial construction in recent years.

The Dallas Regional Chamber expert seeks more rounded growth of southern Dallas.

“It is a very central location, but it also provides a lot of the assets that not only companies are looking for but people are looking for,” she said.

Both the chamber and downtown business boosters are pushing hard to fill the vacant spaces.

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