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Study on Office-to-Residential Conversions Offers Insights into Downtown Atlanta's Future

April 02, 2024

Central Atlanta Progress recently unveiled its completed study on office-to-residential conversions in Downtown Atlanta. The study, now available here, centered on 3 research questions to identify potential buildings for conversion and evaluate the feasibility of this type of adaptive reuse in those structures:

  • What are the barriers or opportunities to conversion feasibility in Downtown?
    Physical and Market Analysis
  • What types of buildings might be rational to convert to housing? Under what economic conditions?
    Financial Analysis
  • How can public investment advance policy objectives around increasing housing supply Downtown?
    Policy and Case Study Analysis

HR&A Advisors provided the financial analysis while Lord Aeck Sargent completed the architectural analysis. Cost estimates were determined by Palacio.

The report determines 5 key factors to convertibility when talking about office-to-residential conversions. Market conditions, physical attributes and location, cost to convert, residential building performance, and regulatory requirements all play into whether or not a conversion will be successful.

10 buildings in Downtown Atlanta are identified as either currently meeting the criteria to be a candidate for office-to-residential conversion or are predicted to meet those criteria within the next 5 years.

Last month, CAP members gathered at The Candler Hotel for a sneak peek of the study before its public release. A panel discussion about Downtown's evolution from a business hub to a dynamic, mixed-use community was the highlight of the morning event, as attendees heard takeaways from the study and listened to developers and community leaders as they discussed innovative strategies and collaborative efforts to create more housing in our city center. The featured panelists were:

For more about the event, read “Revitalizing Downtown: Unlocking the Potential of Office-to-Residential Conversion in Atlanta” on HR&A’s website.

Ultimately CAP’s office-to-residential study finds that rational conversions will require a combination of weak office performance, strong residential performance, and the ability to take advantage of new and existing incentives. While this type of project is still cost-prohibitive for most developers, with the right set of tools certain buildings can be converted, leading to more housing and contributing to increased affordability within Downtown Atlanta.

Click here to access the final draft of CAP’s office-to-residential study.