There’s about 998 million square feet of office real estate across the United States that’s available but in search of a tenant.
That’s thousands of old cubicles, conference rooms, pantries and cafeterias sitting in ghostly quiet. That’s a vast amount of empty space — nearly 13 percent of the market — that could be turned into two-bedroom apartments, big-box retailers, boutique hotels, community college classrooms or even studios for artists. At least that is what city governments and developers are discussing with more urgency, as researchers estimate that office value will plunge 39 percent from prepandemic levels.
What looks like a catastrophe to many building owners presents an opportunity, a possible catalyst for converting some older office spaces to new uses and transforming downtown neighborhoods into areas where people can also live, especially as the United States faces a deficit of more than three million homes. City and business leaders from New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Seattle last month began a series of meetings, convened by the Brookings Institution, where they will exchange ideas on re-envisioning the future of their downtown business districts.
Read the full article on The New York Times
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