Economy Boosted By Renovated Buildings

<p>Buildings are being renovated all over downtown Washington D.C., and as they rise so does the city's tax revenue.</p>
March 19, 2008, 1pm PDT | Nate Berg
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"Walk around downtown, and you will see construction cranes towering over well-located but dated buildings that are being gutted and renovated. New facades are being applied to denuded structural frames, changing substantially the character of buildings designed and constructed only 30 or 40 years ago."

"Unseen is the economic impact of such transformations."

"A building redo entails enormous costs. To justify the investment, rents must be considerably higher after renovation. Consequently, the supply of expensive, well located, class-A office space in the city is rising, along with real estate assessments and tax revenue."

"New office buildings are still being developed, either on downtown's few remaining surface parking lots or on cleared sites previously occupied by buildings so obsolescent that they justified demolition. But development of new buildings from the ground up will be increasingly eclipsed in years to come by makeovers."

"Of course, the makeover trend is predicated on sustained demand, relative to supply, for prime downtown office space because a makeover depends on tenants willing to pay class-A rents. "

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Published on Wednesday, March 19, 2008 in The Washington Post
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