Expertise for Communities

California Is Showing The Potential Of Strip Mall-To-Housing Conversions

Thursday, December 07, 2023 11:15 PM | Daphne Politis (Administrator)

"If just the best-suited 10% of America‚Äôs strip malls were redeveloped, we could build 700,000 new affordable homes nationwide....While much of the focus is on office conversions, an idea that swept the nation as millions of Americans transitioned to remote work, relatively few office buildings are physically suitable for conversion. The costs can be incredibly high and the surrounding neighborhoods, often in business districts, are not necessarily conducive to new housing and the needs of residents....Unlike office-to-residential conversions, the redevelopment of strip malls focuses on repurposing the unbuilt portion of a site or building up from existing structures, rather than examining physically and financially feasible ways to repurpose high-rise office buildings into housing. In addition to creating new housing, mixed-use redevelopments of strip malls with retail space on the ground floor can keep existing retail tenants open and increase foot traffic."

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