Office-to-apartment conversions have resulted in more than 14,000 apartments.
The national vacancy rate for office buildings in the U.S. hit a nearly 30-year high in the third quarter of 2022. According to a recent report from CBRE, the vacancy rate reached 17.1%. This extra space has led developers, investors, architects and others in the real estate arena to rethink how these empty buildings are being used.
There have been 89 office-to-multifamily conversions tracked by CBRE since 2016. This has resulted in more than 14,000 apartment homes. Among the projects in progress are five Dallas conversions, which would add more than 1,300 apartments.
Converting offices into apartments isn’t as easy as it looks on paper. There are challenges that can disrupt progress. This includes the difference in measurements, such as floors and ceilings, light and airflow—windows in each room are a requirement.
Conversions can be, but are not always, less expensive than building from scratch. Also, these projects can have a more limited impact on the environment as well as perverse historical buildings and sites, resulting in potential financial benefits.