flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
catfish1 - bottom
Currently Reading

One out of three office buildings in largest U.S. cities are suitable for residential conversion

Multifamily Housing

One out of three office buildings in largest U.S. cities are suitable for residential conversion

Buildings constructed before 1990 with floor sizes below 15,000 sf considered best options.

By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | May 23, 2023
One out of three office buildings in largest U.S. cities are suitable for residential conversion
Photo: Karl Solano via Pexels

Roughly one in three office buildings in the largest U.S. cities are well suited to be converted to multifamily residential properties, according to a study by global real estate firm Avison Young.

Some 6,206 buildings across 10 U.S. cities present viable opportunities for conversion to residential use. These buildings were built before 1990 with floor sizes below 15,000 sf, making them good candidates for conversion. Such properties are better suited for converting to apartments or condominiums than buildings with larger floor plans that are harder to divide into living spaces.

New York City, the largest U.S. office market at 975 million sf, has the most older buildings available at 1,698, according to Avison Young. Los Angeles is second with 1,212 and Chicago comes in third with 1,030.

The volume of conversions has risen considerably since 2016. A CBRE report last December showed 85 conversions underway this year, double those completed last year. In 2016, the there were 24 conversions.

Converting old office buildings to other uses has gained momentum since the Covid pandemic struck. Office utilization is at an average of 50% across major cities, according to a recent study by security technology firm Kastle Systems.

If that level of use persists, there will be more pressure to convert older offices, which generally operate less sustainably than new properties built to more stringent energy codes, for other purposes.

Related Stories

| Jan 31, 2013

More severe wind storms should prompt nationwide reexamination of building codes, says insurance expert

The increased number and severity of storms with high winds nationally should prompt a reexamination of building codes in every community, says Mory Katz, vice president, Verisk Insurance Solutions Commercial Property, Jersey City, N.J.

| Jan 29, 2013

Trinitas and Harrison Street Break Ground Near University of Kentucky

The 699-bed Collegiate on Angliana, with an anticipated opening date of August 2013, will serve students attending the University of Kentucky (UK).

| Jan 23, 2013

Music-Inspired Apartment Complex Completed in Tampa's Tempo District

Named in honor of jazz artist Ella Fitzgerald, Ella at Encore is the first building to rise from plans to develop a mixed-use, mixed-income urban village in the community.

| Dec 6, 2012

Suffolk Construction awarded Phase Two of Boston’s Old Colony redevelopment project

Project team breaks ground on South Boston public housing project designed for energy efficiency.

| Nov 13, 2012

2012 LEED for Homes Award recipients announced

USGBC recognizes excellence in the green residential building community at its Greenbuild Conference & Expo in San Francisco

| Nov 11, 2012

Greenbuild 2012 Report: Multifamily

Sustainably designed apartments are apples of developers’ eyes

| Oct 5, 2012

2012 Reconstruction Award Silver Winner: 220 Water Street, Brooklyn, N.Y.

The recent rehabilitation of 220 Water Street transforms it from a vacant manufacturing facility to a 134-unit luxury apartment building in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood.

| Aug 1, 2012

C.W. Driver forms Driver URBAN

Driver URBAN specializes in the construction of multi-family apartments, mixed-use developments, affordable housing, student and senior housing, and hospitality projects.

| Jul 20, 2012

2012 Giants 300 Special Report

Ranking the leading firms in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction.

| Jul 19, 2012

Rental market pushing service, ‘community’

The Top 25 Giants 300 AEC firms in the Multifamily Sector keep four-legged tenants in mind.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category

Student Housing

Cal State Long Beach student housing project will add 424 beds

A new $115 million project recently broke ground at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) that will add housing for 424 students at below-market rates. The 108,000 sf La Playa Residence Hall, funded by the State of California’s Higher Education Student Housing Grant Program, will consist of three five-story structures connected by bridges.

halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021