Buy City-Owned Property

How to Buy Property from the City of Tucson

General Information

The City of Tucson owns over 4,000 parcels of land throughout Pima County. Most of that property is used by one of the following City departments:

  • Fire
  • Police
  • Transportation (drainage or future right-of-way)
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Community Services (affordable housing programs)
  • Water (well or reservoir sites)
  • Operations (City facilities like City Hall or City Court Building)
  • Library
  • Tucson Convention Center

All property that is currently not in use by a City Department and is not needed for a future service is declared surplus and sold by the City. It is the responsibility of the Real Estate Division to acquire, manage and dispose of all City property. Revenues generated from sales of surplus properties generally return to either the City’s general fund, to the acquiring department’s budget, or to other governmental entities depending upon the method and financing of the original purchase.

Applying for Purchase

An application and a listing of all City-owned property is available from the Real Estate Division (520) 791-4181. If you are interested in a particular parcel, notify us and the City will assist you in applying for the purchase of city-owned property.

The Sale Process

There is a strong demand for some of the surplus properties, and in those cases, the City pays the entire cost of the appraisal. For all other properties, you (the requestor) will be asked to pay the appraisal fee, following the completion of the City’s competitive appraisal bidding process. This payment shall apply as a credit toward your purchase of the property, or be refunded to you if you are not the successful bidder, but only if the property is sold within one (1) year from your request. The appraised value, once established by the appraiser and agreed to by the Real Estate Division Director, sets the minimum acceptable bid price for the property. A date is then set for the opening of sealed bids, and the property is advertised for sale. The highest and best bidder is awarded the property, subject to final City Council approval. The whole process generally takes five to twelve months (from date of request to City Council approval) depending upon the marketing time and complexity of the appraisal. Sales are generally as is with no guarantees or assurances regarding environmental, archaeological, or development conditions. However, all information and studies currently available on the property will be disclosed to potential purchasers.

Costs To You

Besides the actual purchase price and the previously mentioned appraisal fee and application fee (if applicable), you will pay at close of escrow one-half of the closing costs, any title insurance fees beyond the City-paid standard form title insurance, and any recording, establishment or account servicing fees.

Broker/Agent Commission

The City of Tucson pays the commission of a broker/agent who represents the successful bidder if the broker/agent correctly acknowledges the bid documents where indicated, and is not a principal/buyer. Commission fees vary by property, but do not exceed 6% of the sales price.


Call the Real Estate Division at (520)  791-4181 (FAX 791-5641) for any additional information.