Adaptive reuse has become a rallying cry for city planners frustrated by the low occupancy rates of office buildings in their cities’ downtowns. Recognizing that remote work has changed, probably permanently, the character of their cityscape, they are seeking solutions on what to do about these near empty buildings. Adaptive reuse – that is, converting these often older office buildings into residential properties – has become the answer. 

The years from 2019 to 2020 were peak times for adaptive reuse, according to Yardi Matrix’s RentCafé July report from Andrea Neculae, with a record 6,874 units office conversions in 2020. The next two years, however, did not reflect the same number of transactions, and 2022 experienced a slowdown for a second consecutive year with only 10,090 apartments retrofitted—12% fewer than the prior year and 25% less than in 2020. 


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