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Underused strip malls offer great potential for conversions to residential use

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Underused strip malls offer great potential for conversions to residential use

Converting 10% of strip mall properties into housing could create 700,000 new homes, says Enterprise Community Partners report.


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | November 21, 2023
Image by Chance Cox from Pixabay - Under-used strip malls offer great potential for conversions to residential use
Image by Chance Cox from Pixabay

Replacing moribund strip malls with multifamily housing could make a notable dent in the housing shortage and revitalize under-used properties across the country, according to a report from housing nonprofit Enterprise Community Partners.

Converting just 10% of strip malls into housing could create 700,000 new homes, the report says. That estimate assumes half of the housing projects would be lower-density multifamily housing and half would be medium-density multifamily buildings of up to six stories.

Converting malls into housing is often less complex than transforming urban office buildings into homes. Demolishing a single-story strip mall is easier than rebuilding a downtown high-rise.

Land-use policy updates, tax incentives, and other regulatory changes would be required in many cases to convert property from commercial use to residential, however.

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