Vacant Land Development

How many times have you driven through an area and seen a vacant lot (in both urban and suburban) areas and thought: “wow, I think that would be a great place for a McDonalds/Walgreens/BP/etc?”

In fact, its happend to me several times where I’ve seen a vacant lot with that thought and then 6 months-1 year later something like that ends up going in there and I kick myself for not having followed up on my original thought!

Does anyone have any experience in land development in this area? Marketing to national franchises and chains? Can you get vacant land under contract like other RE and then try and find a franchise buyer for it?
Upsides, downsides, pitfalls? Its something I’ve wondered about for a long time…


If you go to many of the national retailers websites they have links where you can contact them about the very thing you are asking about.

One of my best friends worked for a developer here in the DFW area and all they do is find an area where a Walgreens will work and then buy the land develop it, build the Wal-greens, lease it to Wal-greens, and then sell it to an investor who then holds the triple net lease.

It is a very lucrative business. Especially after you get the first one done.

There is a piece of land on the corner of a major intersection near my home that is about 1.5 acres and would be perfect for a strip mall that could hold a CVS plus maybe a dry cleaner and a small sandwhich shop. the problem is they want over a million an acre in this area so it becomes cost prohibitive to develop.

you’ve really got to know what you’re doing for this.

next time you see a spot like this - take down the location - go to your local town building department and use the tax maps or whatever to find what the property is zoned for - it’s public info.

then match that to what will be needed to put a mcd’s or something else - if the zoning is say industrial but you need it to be a restaurant - then you’ve got to chat it up with a local commercial realtor who can then get you to an expeditor.

to protect yourself - don’t give out the location directly - get some kind of release to protect your info so if anything goes down - you can at least get paid a referral or finder fee of some kind.