Trade war could make adaptive reuse more attractive

Higher cost of building materials could make rehab a better financial bet.

August 31, 2018 |

Amid uncertainty about how an extended trade war could affect the price of construction materials and boost the cost of new construction, adaptive reuse may be an increasingly attractive option.

With the costs of building new rising, new research by the Alabama Center for Real Estate found that adaptive reuse projects cost as much as 15% to 20% less than a new construction alternative. In order for adaptive reuse to work, though, flexibility is required in zoning and approval processes such as parking and density requirements.

Many cities have made these regulations more flexible for adaptive reuse projects and their efforts serve as a blueprint for smaller communities where these projects may now be more economically viable. Also making adaptive reuse more attractive is a desire by both Millennials and Baby Boomers to live in urban areas.

There is a scarcity of developable land in many urban areas, so repurposing existing structures can be a great way to create additional housing.

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