Home from work – should offices be converted to housing?

There has been some speculation about large scale conversion of office space into housing since the onset of the covid-19 pandemic.

Cities large and small have witnessed a sharp decline in demand for office and retail space over the past year. Some analysts expect this trend will continue even after the health crisis ends for a few reasons:

  • Commercial office tenants are finding that some employees are just as productive working from home as they are working in an office. Therefore, these tenants will continue to reduce their office footprint.
  • Online shopping has grown steadily over the past two decades. Continuing demand for e-commerce will reduce demand for retail space.

So, the thinking goes, why not turn these derelict spaces into additional housing. A recent New York Times article explores what a large scale office-to-housing conversion might look like in the big apple.

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