Since the 1980s, Philadelphia is known as Leading Producer of Residential Buildings That Wasn’t Residentialand a new study shows This remains true.
A Philadelphia developer has built 1,552 apartments in 2020-2021 by repurposing older buildings. Analysis released this month by RentCafe, Nationwide apartment search site. Philadelphia ranks second in the nation for the number of apartments created through a concept known as adaptive reuse.During these years the city transformed Only 13 fewer apartments than Washington, but 413 more From Chicago.
Philadelphia has many old buildings, so its age, history, and manufacturing past make it a good place for adaptive reuse. Developers have transformed factories, warehouses, offices, churches, and schools.
During the first two years of the pandemic, Washington, Philadelphia and Chicago accounted for 15% of new apartments in buildings converted from other uses.
Finding new uses for old buildings can help cities adapt to changing needs and meet housing demand, especially in densely populated cities, where land available for construction of large multi-family dwellings is limited. increase.and it can preserve history.
A report from RentCafe, which focuses on buildings with more than 50 apartments, found that adaptive reuse accelerated in the first two years of the pandemic beyond the pace of the previous years, especially in the country’s largest cities.
Nationwide, developers have created approximately 28,000 new rentals through adaptive reuse in 2020 and 2021. In 2018 and 2019, developers created about 22,300 apartments this way.
nationwide, According to RentCafe, apartments in repurposed spaces will outpace apartment growth in new buildings in 2020 and 2021.
Not all unused or underutilized commercial space is suitable for residential conversion. The feasibility of reusing a home depends on features such as ceiling height and access to natural light.
However, if the building meets architectural guidelines for living spaces and the developer doesn’t have many unpleasant surprises in the old building, the apartments in the repurposed property are far more expensive than the units in most newly constructed buildings. You can get to market quickly.
According to RentCafe, ongoing or proposed conversions across the country will see more than 77,000 apartments built over the next few years, most of which will become offices, hotels and factories.
office building conversion The occupancy rate for condominiums is at a record high. Office buildings, the top building type for reuse projects in 2020-2021, saw 2 out of 5 conversions, according to RentCafe. In the last few years, the developer has built his 11,090 apartments across the country from former offices. With more people working from home than before the pandemic, Many offices are underutilized.
Doug Ressler, business intelligence manager at real estate data company Yardi Matrix, RentCafe’s sister company, said: “We’ve seen creative thinking in people transforming office configurations into residences.”
Philadelphia ranks third among cities for the number of apartments converted from offices.
Once the headquarters of United Gas Improvement Co., One City opened in September 2020 as a 323-unit apartment complex. Used to house the probation and pretrial divisions of the Philadelphia County Courthouse and over 120 years old.
said Leo Addimando, co-founder and managing partner of Alterra Property Group, the leader of adaptive reuse in Philadelphia and developer of the project.
It took several years to empty the tenant building. The building has been renovated and added to several times in different eras using different types of construction. And it didn’t match the available drawings. Material delivery was difficult to access as the site is on the corner of a main street in a small back alley. And the pandemic has delayed the project.
This is before the apartment opened. The pipe then burst, causing massive flooding. Adimand said the building lost electrical service and it took him eight to nine months to restore.
These are the types of challenges that arise all the time in development, but especially in adaptive reuse projects where developers are working “not from a clean slate but on existing buildings with their own idiosyncrasies.”
For developers to consider Reuse more office buildings, building prices must come down, Adimand said. He hopes to buy an office building or two to convert, but has no pressing projects.
In 2020 and 2021, factories, hotels, Warehouse converted to the most numerous building types after office buildings.
At least 1,200 new rental units are planned in 10 repurposed buildings in Philadelphia over the next few years, according to RentCafe.