Adaptive Reuse Bills Introduced in California Assembly

The legislation would expand eligibility for economic incentives and let cities loosen regulations to allow for more building conversions.

1 minute read

March 18, 2024, 11:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Historic buildings in downtown Los Angeles with large "Pan American Lofts" sign on side of building.

Historic buildings in downtown Los Angeles, California. | Tomasz Wozniak / Adobe Stock

Two proposed California Assembly bills take aim at the housing supply through adaptive reuse, according to an article in Beverly Press. The bills aim to make the process of converting commercial buildings easier and less expensive.

Assembly Bill 2909 expands economic incentives for converting commercial buildings to housing. “Specifically, the bill would make buildings that are at least 30 years old and located in commercial zones eligible for Mills Act contracts and require that property tax savings be reinvested in retrofitting and repurposing existing buildings to create new residential rental units.”

Assembly Bill 2910 “enables jurisdictions that are designated as ‘pro-housing’ and are compliant with state housing laws to adopt alternative building regulations to make it easier to convert commercial and industrial buildings to residential units.”

In Los Angeles, an adaptive reuse ordinance adopted in 1999 helped bring 12,000 new residential units to the city’s downtown area.

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