Industry News

Conversions: New uses from old

Part 1: Changing building's use presents challenges and rewards

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Editor's note: In this three-part special report, Inman News examines the challenges and rewards of pursuing property conversions in today's market, a case study of conversion-frenzy-gone-wrong, and marketing techniques developers and agents use to sell these properties. (Read Part 2, "Speculation in condo conversions: South Florida's cautionary tale," and Part 3, "Marketing converted properties as stylish and practical.") The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, "The only constant is change," and nowhere is that more visible than in the thousands of real estate conversion projects in cities and towns throughout the country. Imposing brick structures that once shuddered from the industrial age's heavy machinery now house sedate offices and high-priced condos; train stations have become shopping malls, while schools, theaters and churches are subdivided for various purposes. While new construction developments -- particularly home builders -- are suffering doubly from gluts and ma...