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Posted on: April 28, 2022

City of Norfolk Launches Vacant Property Online Auction Program

Dream, Bid, Build: Spring 2022 Properties Now Listed

NORFOLK, VA – The City of Norfolk’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is excited to launch its Vacant Property Online Auction, a new program offering neighbors, developers, builders, and investors equal access and opportunity to invest in the City by purchasing and redeveloping vacant residential lots.

Designed for equity and efficiency, the Vacant Property Online Auction program provides a detailed application and qualification process that is the same for all participants, from individuals interested in developing an empty lot in their neighborhoods to builders looking for the next project. Property purchases will be awarded to the highest bidder meeting alignment with City housing priorities and goals to transform underutilized properties, increase economic inclusion, strengthen neighborhoods and communities with quality, affordable housing options.

“The vacant property auction program was developed in response to residents’ demands for a more transparent, process that gives all interested parties the same opportunity to bid for and purchase a city-owned residential lot,” states City Manager, Dr. Chip Filer. “The buyer benefits with a unique opportunity to invest in a limited resource, the neighborhood benefits from the potential for increased property values which attract residents and businesses, and The City of Norfolk benefits by the transformation of vacant lots to tax generating properties.”

Program highlights include: 

  • 10-20 vacant properties suitable for single family home development will be auctioned each quarter.
  • Each available property has gone through a technical review and is deemed building ready and free of conflicts.
  • Auctions will be administered by GovDeals, a third-party online auction provider specializing in surplus government property liquidation. GovDeals receives a 5 percent commission on each property sold. That fee will be paid by the buyer. 
  • SWaM-certified development and construction priority and a process designed to ensure fair access for residents to invest in their own neighborhoods.

The Vacant Property Online Auction Program’s Spring 2022 Auction is underway with a 35-day property review period. During this time, potential bidders are encouraged to visit www.norfolk.gov/PropertyAuction to learn more about the process, complete preliminary registration, submit applications, documentation and deposits required for participation while browsing properties available for sale. This phase concludes at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 26. The auction will then go live for a 7-day bidding phase that runs from Friday, May 27 – Thursday, June 2.

Following the bidding period, Norfolk DHCD will review the highest bids and assess the bidder’s ability to meet the specific property requirements as applicable. In addition, DHCD staff will vet the highest bidders with the Treasurer’s Office and Neighborhood Services to ensure they are not delinquent on any City property taxes or have outstanding code violations. Once projected bidders are selected, an ordinance will be prepared to authorize the sale(s) for City Council review. DHCD will accept the bids when the ordinance is recorded 30 days after council vote, at which time, the bidder will have 5 days to complete full payment for the property. 

For more details, visit the website, call (757) 664-2470 or email vacantownedcityproperty@norfolk.gov.

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