5 of the largest US office conversions underway


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Between 2021 and 2024, the office-to-multifamily conversion pipeline swelled from 12,100 units in progress to well over 55,000, according to a new report from RentCafe. Many of these projects can be found in major metropolitan areas that have a good deal of aging, empty office space, led by Washington, D.C., with 5,820 units in progress and New York City with 5,215.

While new multifamily starts are slowing down overall, the conversion projects now in active development or construction represent a record high. Here is a sampling of some of the largest conversion projects in progress in the nation’s most active office-to-multifamily hubs, according to RentCafe.

25 Water Street

A rendering of a high-rise apartment building.

CetraRuddy

 

Developer: GFP Real Estate
Location: New York City
Units: 1,263
Status: Under construction

New York City developers GFP Real Estate and Metro Loft Management are in the process of converting the 22-story, 1.1-million-square foot office tower at 25 Water Street in New York City’s Financial District into a 1,263-unit apartment building. 

Originally built in 1969, 25 Water Street offers views of lower Manhattan and New York Harbor from all of its floors, and has 2 acres of plazas and parks surrounding it at street level. With a loan of over $538 million, it is poised to be one the largest-ever office-to-multifamily conversion in the United States, according to NYC-based advisory firm Newmark, which arranged for the loan. 

Units will range from studios to four bedrooms in size, with 12-foot ceilings drawn from the original building plan. Amenities will include a basketball court, a steam room and sauna, indoor and outdoor pools, sports simulators and a landscaped rooftop terrace, among other entertaining and coworking spaces.

Ames Center

A rendering of an apartment building.

Shalom Barnes Associates

 

Developer: Snell Properties
Location: Arlington, Virginia
Units: 740
Status: Approved

Arlington, Virginia-based developer Snell Properties is in the process of redeveloping 1820 Fort Myer Drive, currently home to the Ames Center office building, into a mixed-use site with two residential towers totaling 740 units, including an affordable component. 

The property, originally developed by Snell in 1966, is next to the Rosslyn Metro station, and within a short distance of two bridges across the Potomac River into downtown Washington, D.C. The redevelopment plan also calls for commercial and office space, a 225-room hotel and the reconstruction of a church and gas station currently located on the site.

The project proposal was approved by the Arlington County Board in January 2021

The Centennial

A picture of The Centennial in Cleveland.
The image by R. James Buehner is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

 

Developer: The Millennia Cos.
Location: Cleveland
Units: 584
Status: Under construction

Cleveland, Ohio-based real estate firm The Millennia Cos. intends to redevelop The Centennial, a 100-year-old office structure in downtown Cleveland, into a proposed mix of workforce housing, retail and office space, a hotel, a museum and a high-end restaurant.

Originally built in 1924 as the Union Trust Building, the 1.4 million-square-foot property has sat vacant for nearly a decade, according to Millennia. The restaurant would be located in the building’s original bank hall, while the museum component would include exhibits curated by the Western Reserve Historical Society. 

Construction is underway at the property, according to local news outlet Cleveland Scene

135 South LaSalle St.

A rendering of a streetscape with The Field Residences written on one of the buildings.

Courtesy of Riverside Investment & Development

 

Developers: Riverside Investment & Development, AmTrust RE
Location: Chicago
Units: 430
Status: Proposal

An adaptive reuse proposal for 135 South LaSalle St., developed by Chicago-based Riverside Investment & Development and New York City-based AmTrust RE, was one of three selected in March 2023 for financial backing from the city of Chicago.

The plan calls for converting the 1.3 million-square-foot office property on the site into 430 apartments, of which 129 would be affordable. Other components include rooftop amenities, parking and 80,000 square feet of retail and amenity space. The estimated cost of the project is $258 million, and the developers aim to open the residential portion in 2025.

Kierland Sky

A rendering of a mid-rise apartment building.

Shepley Bulfinch

 

Developer: Kierland Sky LLC
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Units: 420
Status: In development



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