Converting Offices Into Homes, an Emerging Industry Trend
Play • 29 min

In recent months, we have delved into the pressing issue of the lack of rental supply across Canada. This episode explores a creative and innovative solution: repurposing vacant buildings! Today’s guest Howard Chai, a staff writer at STOREYS, has been writing about this topic for a while now and has chatted with many industry experts. He joins us to shed some light on this topic. He explains the concept of "adaptive reuse" with a focus on office-to-residential conversions. We discuss the driving factors behind this trend, successful conversion stories in North America and most notably, Calgary, and the lessons other cities can learn from the Downtown Calgary Development Incentive Program. We also discuss the challenges architects and developers face considering these conversions and how the community typically responds. We look at examples of how such conversions positively impact developers, immigration, and rental supply before Howard shares his predictions for the future of office space and residential conversions in the years to come. Tune in for fascinating insight into this potential solution to the problem of the lack of rental supply!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • An introduction to today’s guest, Howard Chai, Staff Writer at STOREYS.  
  • His thoughts on the current rental housing situation in Canada. 
  • An overview of the concept of “adaptive reuse” and how this relates to office-to-residential conversions.
  • The factors that are driving the trend of repurposing office space for residential use.
  • Office-to-residential conversion success stories from Calgary and other cities where this has been done.
  • Insight into the Downtown Calgary Development Incentive Program and what other cities can learn from it. 
  • Some of the major challenges that architects and developers encounter when attempting this type of conversion. 
  • The typical community response to these building conversions. 
  • Conversion examples that brought a positive change for developers, immigration, and rental supply. 
  • To what extent does the lack of data about conversion projects hinder their adoption. 
  • Howard’s predictions for the future of office space and residential conversions in the coming years. 

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: 


More episodes
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu