In a new SimCity, sometimes buildings get abandoned, and I wonder if I should destroy and rebuild them, or there is a way to naturally fill them back up. I understand when the building is abandoned due to unchecked fire etc., but sometimes the higher wealth house can get abandoned if I had to cut services to survive hard times, so I do not see this kind of property as so dilapidated people cannot return when the land value goes up again.

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Also, I had advisor warn me that simply destroying the building adds to contamination to the soil, which isn’t good either.

  • 7
    The sign says “Abandoned building” and “Reason: low land value”.
    – theUg
    Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 19:13

2 Answers 2


An abandoned building will eventually be reacquired if its problems are resolved. You can see why the building was abandoned by clicking on it to bring up information that building.

In many instances this will be a reason like the building having no water or power, there not being enough jobs within commute distance, pollution or backed up sewage, or the building being damaged by fire.

Abandoned buildings will have a negative effect on the land value of nearby buildings, and have an increased chance of catching fire. Keeping abandoned buildings around over the long term will drive down land value for the surrounding area and it is usually recommended that once the building goes 'dark' (visibly darker than the surrounding buildings - like the one in your screenshot) that it has begun to decay and will soon reach a point that it is better to bulldoze that building to prevent it from causing damage to the value of the surrounding buildings.

When you activate the bulldozer tool, all abandoned buildings of any zone type will begin flashing with an orange symbol with a line through it to make them easier to locate.

  • 2
    Yes, I was able to get this one back, although it took awhile (and only few short minutes to lose it). As for fire damaged ones, does it depend on the degree of damage? I have some small houses that had been damaged, but still marked “for sale”, yet no one buys them, even though demand is there.
    – theUg
    Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 16:29
  • It looked like fire damaged buildings had to be demolished before they would be reoccupied, I don't have a source to confirm this though, but it certainly played like this during the many hours of beta testing I did
    – kalina
    Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 16:36
  • One of “for sale” damaged houses got bought, but again, it took forever. I suppose, however, the ones that are not for sale would not become such.
    – theUg
    Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 16:41
  • Note that fire damaged buildings would not have “For Sale” sign in front of them, it is just stated in their description. Moreover, I had left one of the more damaged buildings to linger, and lo, it was repopulated anyway! Just took even longer time. Now I just need to confirm if that works with businesses or industries.
    – theUg
    Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 18:41
  • 1
    Thanks for the tip on the flashing properties when the bulldozer is selected.
    – Valamas
    Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 20:57

To summarize and add to the good and accepted answer. Abandoned buildings can possibly be brought back to life, but it takes a long time. Especially, comparing to how fast they can be abandoned if necessary conditions are not met. They can be brought back from any condition (from simply vacant to damaged by fire), and, possibly, it takes different amount of time given the same demand (or higher threshold of demand) to get repopulated.

Aside from negative implications of leaving abandoned buildings standing, as outlined in another answer, it is possible for them to fall into such state of disrepair that they completely collapse (it takes a long time as well), turning into pile of rubble further driving the land values down, and contaminating the environment. There could be additional icons associated with such ruins (for instance, indication of toxicity), and they should be promptly removed.

Abandoned buildings and ruins can be easily identified in multiple views, but most convenient way to do so is by using the “Bulldoze” tool. The amounts of such buildings would be displayed in the bottom right corner. And they can be seen on the map as a bulldozer for ruins (left side of the image below), or a boarded-up house for abandoned buildings (right side).

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