What would you do with 10 acres of undeveloped land?

4 Replies

I am new to real estate investing and have this amazing opportunity to bring a great idea to a land owner that is looking for ways to use 10 acres of undeveloped land. If all goes well, I am hoping that this can catapult my real estate investing career forward. Exciting stuff!  The land is located in Lancaster, CA and is owned free and clear. The land has been untouched for around 30 years and the land owner is only recently thinking of what can be done with the property. Here are the details regarding the land and the surrounding areas:

Land details:

- No buildings, structures, homes, or roads on the land currently. Just a large vacant lot. Electrical wiring can be seen running across the lot, but no knowledge of functioning sewage or water.

- Zoning: A-2-5 (This zoning permits a comprehensive range of agricultural uses in areas particularly suited for agricultural activities. Permitted uses are intended to encourage agricultural activities and other such uses required for, or desired by, the inhabitants of the community. An area so zoned may provide the land necessary to permit low density single-family residential development, outdoor recreational uses, and public and institutional facilities.)

- The land is flat and even with small bushes, weeds, and shrubs.

Surrounding Land:

- The immediate surrounding areas are large, vacant lots with some homes sprinkled in here and there (maybe 5-10 farm style homes on large plots of land).

- The closest stores/shopping areas/neighborhoods are 3-5 miles away.


- Lancaster has a high crime rate (higher than in 87% of U.S. cities).

- The land is surrounded by large, unkept, and vacant lots for miles.

- The land is on the outskirts of Lancaster. 

I have thought about mobile homes, manufactured homes, an older residential living community, and more. I'm hoping that the experienced investors and developers can help an inexperienced newcomer out. All ideas and brainstorming are welcome! 

    You have start with determining the highest and best use doing analysis like you mention in terms of the surrounding properties, amenities and demand in the area. I did some videos on this topic. You can find them on my YouTube channel and podcast in my profile page or website.

    Once you have an idea of what you want to do you need to then check with the city or county to determine what is required for all approvals and the time frame to receive approvals.

    Ask if you have to install curb, gutter, sidewalks, street signs, street lighting or any other special requirements.

    Are there any specific street design requirements, DOT requirements, permits or traffic studies.

    DWQ, Army Corp or any other environmental requirements or permits.

    General permit fees, proffers, water/sewer tap fees and the process of setting taps and connecting. Do you need to install manholes or fire hydrants.

    What are the bonding requirements, inspections and CO process.

    You also need to check with the utility companies and get cost estimates from them for availability, fees, hookup charges, transformer and power line/power pole locations or relocation requirements, water, sewer,gas, cable etc

    You will need ball park cost estimates from site work contractors for site work, roads, installation of utility lines etc.

    First and foremost before you invest any Brain cells o would find about the utility situation . Can actually get water, sewer etc. what they require for that and an expected cost . 

    @Solace Medina Sounds like an exciting opportunity.  From the first glance, regardless of what you want to develop you will need to go through a rezoning or obtain a variance.  However, prior to that as @Greg Dickerson mentioned, you need to find out what your highest and best use is.  I would take a look at what the immediate area. (close to major streets/intersections,  what is driving the micro economy in that area, visability, etc...).  If it is tucked away it may be hard to generate interest from people for any use.  I will say that California is cracking down on mobile homes and most cities are fighting against them, just fair warning.  

    With a property that large, you may want to think of a "mixed use" development.  I am finishing one now in Northern CA where we took 12 acres and did hotel, apartments and townhomes.  That is a great way to potentially attract asset classes that compliment each other and can gain more interest.

    I know Lancaster is gaining more interest as LA county is quickly running out of room so  I hope you can get something off the ground!

    PM me if you have any additional questions.