Home News Turning vacant office buildings into apartments presents a ‘historic’ solution to housing crisis, expert says

Turning vacant office buildings into apartments presents a ‘historic’ solution to housing crisis, expert says

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While many workplaces have moved to remote environments during the pandemic, some companies have never fully returned to the in-person model, leading to a surge in vacant office buildings in big cities.

But as the U.S. market faces pressure between rising inflation and interest rates and low housing inventory, the vacant space offers both the private and public sectors a “historic opportunity” to convert into residential space. one real estate investor said,Morning with Maria.”

Joel Marcus, founder of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Thursday. There is no doubt that private developers are working on this.”

According to the National Association of Realtors, Chicago, New York City, DC, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Philadelphia are all Increase in available office buildings As of February. At current recovery rates, it will take nearly three years to reabsorb pre-pandemic office space.

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“The central business districts of many large cities are filled with old office buildings, so I think we really see a historic opportunity,” Marcus explained. And I think the federal government needs to talk more about this to see if we can really connect the two phenomena.”

On Thursday, October 6, 2022, Joel Marcus, founder of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, said in “Mornings with Maria” that transforming empty office buildings into residential space is a “historic opportunity” for cities and individual investors. It provides a great opportunity,” he said. (Getty Images)

“Imagine if we could solve part of the housing crisis by converting many of these old and outdated buildings in the central business district into housing,” the real estate investor continued. will be.”

However, transformational processes can require complex cooperation between cities. real estate conglomerateMarcus pointed out.

“There’s an economic effort to do it, and it won’t be cheap,” Marcus noted. It’s the place.”

Potential growth in supply in the U.S. housing market could also boost the hospitality and services industry, according to real estate experts.

“The thing to remember is that you can’t just have a residential building. You need services, you need food, you need cleaning facilities,” Marcus said. . “So this is also a great opportunity to revive family-run businesses in some of these key locations.”


Alexandria Real Estate Equities is already on board with this innovative concept, adding that its founders have detailed the construction of a 250,000-square-foot apartment attached to the Alexandria Life Science Center in Kendall Square. in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“We ended up selling it because we didn’t actually operate or manage it. [apartments], but it was a really big help to the community that it was new construction, not repurposed. All the time,” Marcus said.

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