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.
Urban Planning | Mar 16, 2023
Three interconnected solutions for 'saving' urban centers
Gensler Co-CEO Andy Cohen explores how the global pandemic affected city life, and gives three solutions for revitalizing these urban centers.
Building Tech | Mar 14, 2023
Reaping the benefits of offsite construction, with ICC's Ryan Colker
Ryan Colker, VP of Innovation at the International Code Council, discusses how municipal regulations and inspections are keeping up with the expansion of off-site manufacturing for commercial construction. Colker speaks with BD+C's John Caulfield.
Multifamily Housing | Mar 14, 2023
Multifamily housing rent rates remain flat in February 2023
Multifamily housing asking rents remained the same for a second straight month in February 2023, at a national average rate of $1,702, according to the new National Multifamily Report from Yardi Matrix. As the economy continues to adjust in the post-pandemic period, year-over-year growth continued its ongoing decline.
Student Housing | Mar 13, 2023
University of Oklahoma, Missouri S&T add storm-safe spaces in student housing buildings for tornado protection
More universities are incorporating reinforced rooms in student housing designs to provide an extra layer of protection for students. Storm shelters have been included in recent KWK Architects-designed university projects in the Great Plains where there is a high incidence of tornadoes. Projects include Headington and Dunham Residential Colleges at the University of Oklahoma and the University Commons residential complex at Missouri S&T.
Mixed-Use | Mar 11, 2023
Austin mixed-use development will provide two million sf of office, retail, and residential space
In Austin, Texas, the seven-building East Riverside Gateway complex will provide a mixed-use community next to the city’s planned Blue Line light rail, which will connect the Austin Bergstrom International Airport with downtown Austin. Planned and designed by Steinberg Hart, the development will include over 2 million sf of office, retail, and residential space, as well as amenities, such as a large park, that are intended to draw tech workers and young families.
Multifamily Housing | Mar 7, 2023
Multifamily housing development in Chicago takes design inspiration from patchwork and quilting
HUB 32, a 65-unit multifamily housing development, will provide affordable housing and community amenities in Chicago’s Garfield Park neighborhood. Brooks + Scarpa’s recently unveiled design takes inspiration from the American tradition of patchwork and quilting.
Adaptive Reuse | Mar 5, 2023
Pittsburgh offers funds for office-to-residential conversions
The City of Pittsburgh’s redevelopment agency is accepting applications for funding from developers on projects to convert office buildings into affordable housing. The city’s goals are to improve downtown vitality, make better use of underutilized and vacant commercial office space, and alleviate a housing shortage.
Student Housing | Mar 5, 2023
Calif. governor Gavin Newsom seeks to reform environmental law used to block student housing
California Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to reform a landmark state environmental law that he says was weaponized by wealthy homeowners to block badly needed housing for students at the University of California, Berkeley.
Green Renovation | Mar 5, 2023
Dept. of Energy offers $22 million for energy efficiency and building electrification upgrades
The Buildings Upgrade Prize (Buildings UP) sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy is offering more than $22 million in cash prizes and technical assistance to teams across America. Prize recipients will be selected based on their ideas to accelerate widespread, equitable energy efficiency and building electrification upgrades.
AEC Innovators | Mar 3, 2023
Meet BD+C's 2023 AEC Innovators
More than ever, AEC firms and their suppliers are wedding innovation with corporate responsibility. How they are addressing climate change usually gets the headlines. But as the following articles in our AEC Innovators package chronicle, companies are attempting to make an impact as well on the integrity of their supply chains, the reduction of construction waste, and answering calls for more affordable housing and homeless shelters. As often as not, these companies are partnering with municipalities and nonprofit interest groups to help guide their production.