There are many old buildings, such as warehouses and factories, that are no longer in use. While vacant, they attract vandals and fall into disrepair. Also, the owner is losing money each month without a tenant. Adaptive reuse can turn them into profitable properties through renovation and/or restoration. This repurposing of space has become very popular in the past twenty years, especially in commercial real estate. So, why renovate when a developer can demolish and rebuild? Below are some reasons why adaptive reuse is the better option.
- More Economical to Renovate — Most developers opt to tear down a building and build a new one to get more money in rent and to add more amenities. However, it is more economical to renovate to avoid demolition costs as well as the rising costs of labor and construction materials. This is not to say that there won’t be “surprise” costs during the project (e.g. upgrading the electrical to meet code), but these costs are far less expensive than a new build because the structure is sound and the electrical and plumbing lines are already in place. Also, developers can save on reusing materials, such as hardware, which will preserve the character. Plus, it is hard to find the same quality.
- A Prime Location — In real estate, location is everything. In many urban areas, there is not enough space for new construction. By renovating a property, you will be gaining a prime location and possibly a landmark.
- Maintain the Character — When a building is renovated, it is given a new lease on life. Old buildings have a rich history that deserves to be preserved, albeit in a new way. It is important to find out if the building is listed on a historical register, which would mean strict municipal codes. The historical preservation process could hinder the project schedule as well. It is best to work with a landmark expert to ensure all codes are met.
- Customize Spaces — A warehouse or factory has plenty of space that can be customized for a tenant. For example, a warehouse is perfect for a gym or a restaurant. It can be a mixed-use space to house retail, offices, an art gallery … etc. Architects must be creative when it comes to solving renovation issues, such as lack of light or no handicap-accessible entrances, while honoring the architecture. To add more natural light, an atrium can be built, which would be a unique feature to the building.
- Creative Opportunities — There are many opportunities to be creative when it comes to adaptive reuse. Interior designers can mix materials, such as wood and metal, for a distinctive look. Also, the use of bold colors can enhance the building by complementing the facade or providing a stark contrast. The facade can also be utilized to brand the business (or businesses) with signage that reflects the year (or period) the building was built.