Repurposing Office Buildings as Residential Condos

Posted by Mark Washburn on Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 at 9:34am.



A new trend is starting to take shape as multifamily housing spurs high demand: many office property owners are renovating old office buildings into residences that appeal to folks who want to live in the city.  It’s a trend being seen in many metro areas around the U. S.   Many young urban professionals prefer to live in cities to be near their jobs as well as enjoy urban cultural amenities and a vibrant nightlife. 

The demographics point to very strong multifamily properties: growth in single-family heads of households; unrelated people living together as a result of the recent housing downturn and high unemployment rates; and baby boomers downsizing to apartments.  The key factor driving the conversion of office buildings to residential condos is where the millennial generation, ages 18 to 32, want to live and baby boomers are fleeing the suburbs to be close in to the city in an urban environment.

While Manhattan and Los Angeles are at the head of this office building conversion trend, DC is close on their heels.  Here are three conversion projects in the District:

Mather Studios
In DC, take a look at Mather Studios---a cool residential building of lofts in Penn Quarter made history in 2003 as the first downtown DC building to be converted to residential use.  The lobby of Mather Studios features custom artwork, granite flooring and designer lighting.  Modern design elements include exposed brick, exposed ductwork, stained concrete floors, and frosted glass sliding doors. 

Mark On M
Another repurposed office building is “The Mark on M,” an upscale 35-unit residential condo located on the top 5 floors of 2311 M Street, NW in DC’s posh West End neighborhood.  Each condo features top-quality finishes, like Brazilian cherry floors, cherry cabinetry in the kitchen, black granite and stainless appliances in the kitchen and marble bathrooms.  The ultra convenient location on M Street puts you close to 2 Metro Stations as well as in reach of restaurants, shopping, The Sports Club LA, the Ritz Carlton, Trader Joes, Whole Foods and 3 blocks from Georgetown. 

Dumbarton Place
In addition, a wonderful gem can be found at Dumbarton Place in Dupont Circle overlooking Rock Creek Park---a green open space that makes you forget that you’re squarely in the city a la Central Park in New York.  The former office building was converted in 2005 to a 6-story, 36-unit upscale condo boutique in the highly sought-after Dupont Circle neighborhood.  Luxury finishes for each condo includes direct-access elevators, over-sized windows and gourmet kitchens, plus a lot more.

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