Vacant Lot Development Could Bring 100,000 New Housing Units to Dallas

Building on the roughly 76 million square feet of vacant land already zoned for multifamily housing could create badly needed rental housing units and slow the growth of rent prices.

1 minute read

May 30, 2023, 9:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Downtown Dallas

Piotr Zawisza / Shutterstock

If Dallas were to develop the 475 vacant lots already zoned for multifamily housing in the city, it could build as many as 100,000 new housing units, reports Alexandra Both in an analysis on RentCafe. Both points out that “That’s more than the total number of apartments built in the city since 2000.”

RentCafe created a map of vacant lots and zoning restrictions in Dallas, revealing the zip codes that could house the most new rental housing. The RentCafe analysis found that, in addition to the 76 million square feet of vacant parcels already zoned for multifamily housing, “in total, Dallas has more than 494 million square feet of vacant land scattered around 3,152 parcels that could be used to build more housing” if rezoned to allow multifamily development.

According to Both, “Through strategic rezoning, the city could unlock even more potential for affordable and diverse housing options, that would not only alleviate the housing shortage but also drive Dallas towards a more equitable future.” 

Developers blame the city’s long, uncertain permitting process and high fees for discouraging more construction. A bill proposed in the state legislature, House Bill 14, would let developers use a third party contractor to perform reviews and approve permits if the city doesn’t do so within a 15 day deadline.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023 in RentCafé

Chicago Intercity Rail

Amtrak Ramping Up Infrastructure Projects

Thanks to federal funding from the 2021 infrastructure act, the agency plans to triple its investment in infrastructure improvements and new routes in the next two years.

September 25, 2023 - Smart Cities Dive

Google maps street view of San Francisco alleyway.

Ending Downtown San Francisco’s ‘Doom Loop’

A new public space project offers an ambitious vision—so why is the city implementing it at such a small scale?

September 26, 2023 - Fast Company

Google street view of yellow "End Freeway 1/4 mile" sign on 90 freeway in Los Angeles, California.

Proposal Would Transform L.A.’s ‘Freeway to Nowhere’ Into Park, Housing

A never-completed freeway segment could see new life as a mixed-use development with housing, commercial space, and one of the county’s largest parks.

September 26, 2023 - Los Angeles Times

Aerial view of coastal town of Santa Cruz, California.

Santa Cruz Transit Looks to Expand

A small transit agency in Northern California is making ambitious expansion plans.

5 hours ago - Human Transit

View of dirt trail between shrubs with downtown Los Angeles skyline in background.

Advancing Park Equity Through Needs Assessments

City Parks Alliance, in partnership with Prevention Institute, recently hosted a webinar about park equity and collaboration, focusing on the Los Angeles Countywide Parks Needs Assessment.

6 hours ago - City Parks Alliance

Wood-frame houses under construction.

California Impact Fees Reach Supreme Court

An upcoming ruling could have a major impact on building and development in California and around the country.

7 hours ago - San Francisco Chronicle

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.