55,000 Office-to-Apartment Conversions Underway in Major Cities

Office-to-apartment conversions show office buildings, “once the epicenters of the 9-to-5 grind, are being transformed into the new homes

Office-to-apartment conversions show office buildings, “once the epicenters of the 9-to-5 grind, are being transformed into the new homes of urbanites, in a pandemic-driven remote-work new reality,” RentCafe says in their adaptive reuse report.

The report says the offices that are having the makeovers “are relatively newer, averaging 72 years old, which is 20 years younger than those previously converted.”

Using relatively newer buildings for office-to-apartment conversions “suggests a strategic preference for buildings that might require less investment in refurbishment and are more likely to meet modern standards, potentially simplifying the conversion process.”

Where are top 5 office-to-apartment conversions taking place?

Here is a breakdown by RentCafe of the cities where most of the conversions are taking place:

  1. The Washington, D.C., metro area leads in office-to-apartment conversions, with 5,820 units in the pipeline – nearly doubling last year’s figures with an 88% increase. The largest transformation: The Myers Drive project in Arlington, which is repurposing Rosslyn’s Xerox Building into a 691-unit apartment complex.
  2. New York metro is second, preparing to convert office spaces into an impressive 5,215 apartments (up 18% since last year). Leading the adaptive reuse movement is the 25 Water Street project in Manhattan, which will convert the former home of The Daily News and J.P. Morgan into 1,263 new apartments, marking the largest single project of its kind in the country.
  3. Dallas has 3,163 units transitioning from office spaces to apartments, which translates into a 58% year-over-year increase. A standout project is the redevelopment of the Renaissance Tower on Elm Street, poised for a real-life renaissance as it swaps out old offices for 500 modern apartments.
  4. Chicago is next with 1,422 new apartments created by repurposing old office buildings. Not even the 9% dip from last year could stop the metro from being a frontrunner in future office-to-apartment conversions. The project at 135 South LaSalle St. stands out as Chicago’s largest, with 430 expected units.
  5. Rounding up the top five is Los Angeles, with 2,442 units in the pipeline and a 6% uptick since the previous year. Taking center stage is the adaptive reuse project at 695 S. Vermont Avenue, which is ready to roll out 255 new apartments.

Office-to-apartment conversions show office buildings, “once the epicenters of the 9-to-5 grind, are being transformed into the new homes

While offices offer the best opportunity for apartment conversions with 38% of the conversions, other properties work as well, the RentCafe report says. Other buildings are:

  • Hotels 24%
  • Factories 13%
  • Healthcare buildings 6%

Learn more about other cities and adaptive reuse here at the full RentCafe report.

Top 10 Cities To Watch For Rentals In 2024

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