Repositioning Suburbia

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Repositioning Suburbia

Adaptive reuse and infrastructure are two of the 10 topics expected to have the greatest impact on real estate in the 2021-2022 cycle, according to The Counselors of Real Estate's latest list of current and emerging trends.

The approach to real estate use needs to evolve

Adaptive Reuse 2.0, what CRE calls "The Neighborhood Approach," involves responding to the challenge of what to do with hundreds of disused suburban shopping malls and thousands of empty wholesale stores surrounded by apartment buildings.

Pressure on the affordability of housing and remote working models will accelerate the trend away from maintaining and enhancing individual, mostly historic, assets in urban areas towards a broader neighborhood approach. The first 2020 census data and the annual U-Haul Migration Report show that the U.S. population and workers are moving inland and suburbs to find affordability and quality of life.

The neighborhood approach involves reviewing and repositioning our suburban communities for transformation before the opportunity passes or, worse, creates a nuisance that must be addressed later at a much higher cost. Some communities are ahead of the curve. They are moving in the direction of an infrastructure that is more accessible and driverless for drivers and that requires less parking space.

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