46 properties sign up for office-to-resi accelerator

Four buildings have already started conversion process, eyeing 2,100 units

NYC Snaps Up Nearly 50 Properties in Office-to-Resi Accelerator
Mayor Eric Adams (Getty)

The first numbers are in for Mayor Eric Adams’ program to streamline office-to-residential conversions in New York City.

There are 46 buildings enrolled in the city’s Office Conversion Accelerator, Axios reported. The buildings were not identified individually, but include four that have already launched the conversion process for more than 2,100 housing units.

Adams launched the one-stop shop for conversions in August, combining representatives of the Department of City Planning, Department of Buildings, Housing Preservation and Development, Landmarks Preservation Commission and Board of Standards and Appeals. 

The program’s announcement came alongside a forecast that office-to-resi conversions could produce 20,000 homes over a decade, or 4 percent of Adams’ “moonshot” goal of creating 500,000 homes in that period.  

Conversions have been hailed since the onset of the pandemic as a way to kill two birds with one stone — create more housing and repurpose languishing offices — but properties slated for redevelopment often run into permitting and zoning issues.

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The Adams administration has a couple of more tricks up its sleeve. It is pitching a broader age of eligibility for building conversions and permitting non-residential properties to convert to housing anywhere residential uses are allowed. But the City Council will need to have a say in those ideas.

Until then, progress will be tallied on a property-by-property basis as conversions are undertaken and come to market. 

Conversions are already hitting the market in the Big Apple. Vanbarton Group in December launched sales at Pearl House, a 588-unit office-to-residential redevelopment in the Financial District, where construction is anticipated to be completed in the middle of this year.

Holden Walter-Warner

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