Revitalizing Suburban Office Space

Suburban office buildings are also losing tenants, but face some unique challenges compared to their urban counterparts.

1 minute read

February 1, 2024, 8:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Three-story modern suburban office building.

qingwa / Adobe Stock

Suburban office buildings, like their urban counterparts, face higher vacancy rates since the pandemic. While, as Jared Brey explains in Governing, suburban office parks tend to be more isolated and thus less tied to the surrounding economy, their success or failure still has a major impact on their communities and local tax revenue. “Suburbs all over the country are working to redevelop office parks in hopes of heading off abandonment and decay.”

Additionally, the design of many suburban office centers, surrounded and isolated by seas of parking, puts them at a disadvantage. “Even before the pandemic, many suburbs recognized the need to revitalize those spaces, and build connections between office space, housing, public outdoor space and other commercial uses.”

Jurisdictions such as Arlington County, Virginia and Dublin, Ohio are working to support the redevelopment and revitalization of commercial areas through updated regulations that acknowledge changing conditions. “Zoning regulations for office districts currently don’t allow certain types of retail or higher education, for example. Some permitting processes slow things down, requiring developers to lock in certain uses or even specific types of tenants early in the process.”

Tuesday, January 30, 2024 in Governing

Rendering of electric scooters, electric cars, light rail train, and apartments in background.

Arizona’s ‘Car-Free’ Community Takes Shape

Culdesac Tempe has been welcoming residents since last year.

February 14, 2024 - The Cool Down

Aerial view of suburban sprawl with large single-family homes near Dallas, Texas.

The Changing Shape of American Suburbs

Housing costs and availability are pushing more American households, including young families, to suburbs and exurbs — and they’re demanding changes.

February 13, 2024 - Business Insider

Aerial view of New York City architecture with augmented reality visualization, blue digital holograms over buildings and skyscrapers

4 Ways to Use AI in Urban Planning and City Design

With the ability to predict trends, engage citizens, enhance resource allocation, and guide decision-making, artificial intelligence has the potential to serve as planners’ very own multi-tool.

February 20, 2024 - ArchDaily

Google street view of wide grassy median in Beverly Hills, California.

Beverly Hills Installs First ‘Green Street’

A three-block median featuring native plants and bioswales is part of the city’s broader effort to reduce water consumption and pollution.

February 22 - Beverly Press

Habitat for Humanity volunteers in construction helmets buildign a wood-frame house.

Habitat for Humanity and Missoula Land Trust Team up on Affordable Housing

The partnership will ensure the new homes will remain affordable for future buyers.

February 22 - KPAX

Orange California poppies in bloom over gently rolling hills in Southern California's Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve.

Experiencing California's Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve

Located in the western Mojave Desert, this stunning state natural reserve is renowned for its breathtaking displays of California poppies and has even been referred to as California's most beautiful place.

February 22 -

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

The Walkable City

Harvard GSD Executive Education

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.