Survey: Zoning Codes Holding Back Office Conversion

A survey of developers and architects found that many of them find it hard to meet demand for office conversion due to local regulations and zoning restrictions.

1 minute read

June 23, 2023, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Empty open plan office with gray carpet and white walls

russell witherington / Vacant office

A report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reveals that permitting regulations and zoning codes are holding back developers’ ability to convert office buildings to residential units even as demand for office conversions grows.

In a survey, “Almost half of respondents (46%) indicate zoning/permitting rules are a barrier.” Meanwhile, “Seven in ten builders (71%) and two in three architects (68%) are receiving more frequent requests to convert existing office space to a different use compared to one year ago.”

This indicates a need for cities to reform their zoning codes and adapt to new needs that include more housing and less office space. “Two in five respondents (40%) indicated that 50% or more of their U.S. properties/projects have included requests for converting existing office space.”

Thursday, June 22, 2023 in U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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