Have you noticed some of the empty office space around town? Office vacancies are currently at 21% locally as of 2023, up from 20.3% last year. Compare those numbers to the national office vacancy rate, which was 17.8% as of September 2023. One possible use for vacant offices? Affordable housing.
Recently, the White House released a new plan to convert commercial buildings into residential housing — affordable housing in particular. Resources will be made available from 20+ programs across multiple agencies, including the Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Projects currently underway
Kansas City leads with cities like San Francisco and Washington, DC in converting older buildings into apartments, resulting in 5,305 new residential units created as of 2020.
Currently, the Cordish Cos. (aka the owners of Power & Light) are converting the downtown Midland office building at 1221 Baltimore Ave. into 135 units of workforce housing. The project is on track for completion in May.
Which vacant spaces would you like to see converted?
Have you passed an empty office building that would be a sweet apartment? How about some empty warehouses near public transportation that would make for a quick commute?
Tell us which spaces you’d like to see remade into housing, and we may feature your picks in an upcoming newsletter.