Work From Home Trend Gets Literal – Former Offices Are Being Turned Residential at Record Rates

25 Water Street New York
25 Water Street in New York is the largest office-to-residential conversion project in the NYC metro area. Image via Costar.

A nationwide housing shortage has caused a reevaluation of real estate needs in the U.S. and New Jersey plus the surrounding region has emerged as one of the top spots where office buildings are being repurposed.

A recent analysis from RentCafe is tracking the country’s real estate shuffle in terms of converting existing buildings into residential complexes. The study found that 55,300 apartments are currently being converted nationwide and are expected to enter the market in the coming years.

Office To Residential Conversion Pipeline
Office-to-residential pipeline. Image courtesy of RentCafe.

That jump represents a 400% increase from just three years ago, when 12,100 residential units in former office spaces were in the pipeline. RentCafe determined that the office to residential trend is most prominent in Washington, D.C. (5,820 units), followed by New York (5,215 units) and Dallas (3,163 units).

The surge in the New York metro area represents an 18% increase in residential conversions from the previous year, a welcome development amid the region’s housing shortage. New Jersey is contributing greatly to the trend, as the combined markets of Northern and Central New Jersey have 1,450 office-to-residential units in the pipeline.

Office To Residential Conversion Stats
Nationwide office-to-residential conversion rankings. Image courtesy of RentCafe.

The only spot with more residential conversions in the pipeline was Manhattan, which is transforming offices into 2,609 apartments. The biggest single project in the region, at 25 Water Street, will add 1,263 apartments inside an office building previously headquarters for The Daily News and J.P. Morgan.

Other spots within the New York metro that are adding large numbers of residences through office conversions include White Plains with 708 units in the pipeline and Brooklyn, which is adding 540 new residences inside former office spaces.


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