Adaptive reuse and infrastructure represent two of the 10 issues expected to have the most impact on real estate during the 2021–2022 cycle, according to The Counselors of Real Estate’s latest list of current and emerging trends.
Approach to Property Use Must Evolve
Adaptive Reuse 2.0, what CRE calls “the neighborhood approach,” involves responding to the challenge of what to do with hundreds of defunct suburban malls and thousands of empty big-box retail stores surrounded by housing.
Housing affordability pressures and remote work models will accelerate the trend of movement away from preserving and enhancing single, mostly historic assets in urban areas toward a broader neighborhood approach. The initial 2020 census data and annual U-Haul Migration report show that the U.S. population and workforce are moving inland and to suburbia to find affordability and quality of life.
The neighborhood approach involves reexamining and repositioning our suburban communities for transformation before the opportunity passes them over, or worse, creates blight that will need to be addressed later at a much higher cost. Some communities are ahead of the curve. They’re moving toward an infrastructure that’s more walkable and driverless-car friendly and that uses less land for parking.