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New York City creates team to accelerate office-to-residential conversions

Adaptive Reuse

New York City creates team to accelerate office-to-residential conversions

This "one-stop shop" for developers will help firms navigate red tape and obtain permits for adaptive-reuse projects.


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor  | August 31, 2023
Photo by Fernando Gonzalez

Photo by Fernando Gonzalez

New York City has a new Office Conversion Accelerator Team that provides a single point of contact within city government to help speed office-to-residential conversions.

Projects that create 50 or more housing units from office buildings are eligible for this new program. The program will assist owners with analyzing the zoning feasibility of individual conversion projects and help to secure necessary permits.

The city’s team will include personnel from the Department of City Planning, the Department of Buildings, the Department of Housing Preservation & Development, the Board of Standards & Appeals, and the Landmarks Preservation Commission. “Property owners of existing office buildings can seek the interagency team’s help to identify barriers to conversion and expedite pathways to overcome those barriers,” according to a city news release.

The creation of this team was recommended by an adaptive reuse study released by the city earlier this year. The study also advocated for rezoning to allow more conversions in mid-town Manhattan, parts of Queens, and the Bronx.

Mayor Eric Adams earlier this year said an area of midtown that stretches from Chelsea through the Garment District can create some 20,000 housing units through conversions.

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