Los Angeles is one of the top markets in the US for home remodeling projects. A recent report from Rent café from Yardi analyzed the number of historic buildings that have been converted into apartment buildings since the 1950s. In Los Angeles, 74 historic buildings have been converted into apartment buildings in the past seven decades. As a result, the market for such home conversions ranks third nationwide.
"Remodeling and adaptive reuse projects are nothing new, but decade after decade developers have exploited the residential potential of older buildings." Alexandra Ciuntu from Rent Café tells GlobeSt.com. “Reasons range from time and cost efficiency to more sentimental reasons like adding a nostalgic value to a project or keeping the communities in their story. The entire redevelopment process for an existing building is easier than that for new builds, especially if no changes to the space requirements or the size of the property are required. "
Existing projects are also relatively simple, straightforward and faster than a basic project. "Underutilized and even abandoned buildings could prove to be easier to erect and reuse than starting a project from scratch," says Ciuntu. “And a reduction in development time can ultimately lead to lower construction costs. In addition, more and more cities have protection programs that go hand in hand with the preservation of historic buildings and reuse them according to the current needs of the community – in this case the rental offer. "
Los Angeles is a perfect market for these projects. In addition to higher development costs that help convert the fuel, there is also an abundance of vintage buildings on the market. "It all comes down to the number of existing buildings that may be used for other purposes, and Los Angeles has this in abundance thanks to its rich past," says Ciuntu. “The city has a huge inventory of old hotels and office buildings, most of which have been converted for economic reasons. In fact, it has the most office-to-apartment conversions in the United States. Cultural centers like LA have a rich history, and nothing embodies this more than ancient buildings. What makes it such a great market for adaptive reuse is its position as an arts and entertainment hub that allows for a mix of conversions with historic flair. Old mansions that once belonged to Hollywood stars from the Golden Age, famous entertainment buildings or Art Deco staples of yesteryear make LA one of the most attractive areas for renovation projects. "
Ultimately, these projects help to increase the supply of accessible living space. Of the 74 projects, 44 concerned apartments with middle or low incomes. "According to our data, 65% of the buildings that have been converted across the country in the past seven decades have been aimed at middle- and low-income tenants, while LA is 60% affordable," says Ciuntu. “Of the 74 converted buildings that have become apartments since the 1950s, 21 are fully affordable – many of them former hotels. Given the high percentages, we can say that adaptive reuse has become a popular initiative for affordable housing. "