Industry Trends: Adaptive Reuse

Dec 18, 2015

Why is Adaptive Reuse gaining demand from businesses new and old in a market of ground-up development? The sector fuels not only economic and urban development benefits for businesses and cities— it also addresses sustainability goals for cities seeking to fill unoccupied structures that would otherwise be razed. With centrally located properties becoming scarcer and more expensive, Adaptive Reuse is gaining steam in a new industry sector.

Countless case studies reveal how adaptive reuse has revitalized as stand-alone construction niche. Downtown environments across the US loom with either outdated office complexes or, in the case of downtown Phoenix, the remnants of an industrial boom since gone dormant. Economic development divisions within City Governments are afflicted with the choice between major urban demolition or losing businesses to neighboring cities where land is readily available and abundant. However, falling property values, ample building obstacles for ground-up investments, and high demand for space have compelled developers and businesses to reconsider converting and reinventing centrally located properties as economically beneficial alternatives. In addition, city and federal tax credits continue to open doors to developers and businesses seeking to occupy an adaptive reuse space.

The Reinvent PHX collaborative partnership is one example of how cities and communities are teaming up with urban developers to promote not only adaptive reuse and historic preservation, but sustainability and public transportation as well. With emphasis on cutting costs and waste, building from scratch isn’t always the best option for urban planners when public transportation and an environmental footprint are key components. Entire city blocks and districts around the valley are being revised by means of transit-oriented development, walk-friendly neighborhoods, and higher-density building. With a denser population centralized around the urban hub of downtown Phoenix, businesses and developers are seeing immediate effects in retail and new business spectrums.  Additional examples of this type of collaboration include Arcadia Fiesta and 3rd & Buchanan.

“Many of these projects are also getting creative with their real estate, and adaptive reuse has become an integral part of the Valley’s restaurant and retail development landscape,” said Cheryl Lombard, CEO and President of Valley Partnership, at the organization’s monthly breakfast conference. “These types of projects not only spur economic growth and bring vibrancy to their communities, but they are also excellent examples of responsible development.”

Adaptive reuse and sustainability have been integral parts of the Wespac Way. A few of our recent adaptive reuse projects include Grand Central Tower, Arcadia Fiesta, Café 25:35, and Ewa’s Thai Café in Flagstaff.

  • Grand Central Tower- a 20-story high-rise office building first constructed in 1959. The building was renovated as a spec suite hub with central location in downtown Phoenix.
  • Arcadia Fiesta- a 1950’s shopping complex currently being renovated to become a retail center capable of suiting a wide variety of tenants across multiple industries.
  • Café 25:35- a 90-year old brick structure entirely rebuilt to suit a restaurant seeking a vintage interior.
  • 3rd & Buchanan- a 50-year old renovation that converted an old warehouse to a fully-equipped office space. The 19,000 sf project was deemed a historical preservation approved by Historic Preservation Society.
  • Ewa’s Thai Café- an 85-year old multi-story structure converted into a Thai restaurant with second story apartments.

For more information regarding Wespac’s adaptive reusue and renovation projects, click here for our market sectors and here to request a brochure.