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Commercial-to-apartment conversions on the rise

by Timothy Inklebarger

Commercial buildings are being converted faster than ever over the last decade with approximately 778 old buildings made into apartments since the 2010’s, according to a blog post from RentCafe.

That’s outstanding growth in the conversion industry when compared to the 14 projects in the 1950’s, the blog post notes. The 2010 decade grew the amount of overall building conversions from about 2,000 units converted in the 1950s to roughly 97,000 over the last decade. That brings the total number of apartment-for-rent conversions to more than 240,000.

Nationally, 65% of the conversions are affordable, 42% are suitable for middle-income and 23% are geared towards low-income. The most popular types of conversions for the past 7 decades are factories with 442 turned into apartments, hotels at 434, offices at 313, schools at 199 and warehouses at 130 conversions. Roughly 86% of hotels are changed into affordable apartments with healthcare buildings following behind at 79%.

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