Alexandria leads office-to-apartment conversions


Alexandria is paving the way for the conversion of offices into apartments and condos, according to RentCafe Adaptive Reuse Annual Report.

RentCafe found that Alexandria is ranked 4th among cities nationwide in number of apartments from office conversions between 2020 and 2021.

Alexandria is also the 3rd US city in the top 10 cities with the most apartments converted in the first half of 2022, with 648 conversions completed from January to June 2022.

“Our analysis shows that adaptive reuse apartments were growing faster than new apartments – 25% versus 10% – over the same period,” according to RentCafe.

Why Alexandria? “The residential market needs a lot more density in areas of the biggest cities, where demand is greatest and where the tallest office buildings are,” said Doug Ressler, chief intelligence officer economical at Yardi Matrix. “The architecture of the existing building is the critical starting point. Not all buildings are equally threatened by the work-from-home revolution. Large office buildings in derelict central business districts are better suited for conversion than the often smaller office complexes scattered throughout the suburbs.

In Alexandria, the owners of 1101 King St., a largely vacant office building in the heart of the old town, plans to convert the building into apartments. A converted office building in the old town north of 801 N. Fairfax St. open to residents in 2021.

Prior to construction, a big project planned in the Eisenhower East neighborhood decided to move from an office project to a large residential project. And with the US Patent & Trademark Office free up 800,000 square feet of office space in future years, the Carlyle District may see more residential use.

RentCafe’s data does not take into account office buildings that are completely demolished to make way for housing, which can happen in 2121 Eisenhower Ave. and perhaps, eventually, victory center a few miles down the road.

RentCafe’s full study is available here.


November 11, 2022


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