Is converting office buildings into apartments here to stay?

By The Big Story

In today’s Big Story podcast, nearly three years into the on-going pandemic and there’s still plenty of unused office spaces in most downtowns right now.

The City of Calgary is leading the trend of office to residential space conversion projects. So much so that American media in San Francisco and other places has picked up on it. This kind of urban revitalization is called “adaptive re-use,” and it turns out, it’s not actually as inexpensive or easy to do as it seems.

So, what’s required to get office conversion projects off the ground, in terms of legislation, but also, just, practically? And could this plan scale up quickly, to solve a housing crisis?

Tracy Hadden Loh, Fellow with the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Center for Transformative Placemaking at Brookings Metro, joined The Big Story to discuss the pros and cons of adaptive reuse.

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