Buying from city (Boston)

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I'd first double check who legally owns it via the assessors database. 

https://www.cityofboston.gov/assessing/search/

Usually if its run down or an abandoned plot its owned by the DND (Department of Neighborhood Development). Because they often sell at a discounted rate they also often have specific terms for development or you have to first send in a proposal. 

https://www.boston.gov/departments/neighborhood-development/how-we-sell-citys-land-and-buildings