Office of General Services

New York State Office of General Services - Real Estate - Sales of Surplus State Real Property
Land Management

Lands Under Water

For Lands Now or Formerly Under Water:
Title to the bed of numerous bodies of water is held in trust for the people of the State of New York under the jurisdiction of the Office of General Services. Structures, including fill, located in, on, or above state-owned lands under water are regulated under the Public Lands Law and may require authorization from the state. Please contact the Bureau of Land Management for assistance prior to submitting an application.
For Uplands:
The OGS Bureau of Land Management has the authority to convey interest in real property for the use of state-owned lands. There are several methods for the sale or use of state lands, including:
  • Sale to a municipality for certain uses;
  • Public auction sale, open or sealed bid auction;
  • Private sale to an adjoiner, property may be sold directly to an adjoining owner for fair market value if the property does not consititute a legal building lot and has a fair market value of less than $20,000;
  • Private sale of land acquired through tax sale, property may be sold directly to a person who has occupied the same property under color of title continuously for ten years, or where applicant has, in good faith, a continuous chain of title going back at least ten years;
  • Sale to Empire State Development Corporation, property may be sold directly to ESDC in order that they may convey to a private applicatnt directly for purposes of economic development;
  • Special Legislation, property may be sold as directed by a special law as passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor; and
  • Sale of abandoned canal land, abandoned canal land may be sold to the adjacent owners. All sales are at fair market value as determined by appraisal.
Contact Information
For the conveyance of any New York State real property interest, please contact:
OGS Bureau of Land Management
26th Floor, Corning Tower
Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12242
518-474-2195
LandUnderWater@ogs.ny.gov