Unrecognized assets: Low-density commercial buildings
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According to Reshaping Metropolitan America, about half of all nonresidential structures in the US will be “ripe for redevelopment” in 2030. Many of these are commercial strip retail buildings with large parking lots or dated office buildings on suburban sites. The annual report Emerging Trends in Real Estate notes that many suburban retail and office properties across the US are languishing in value and may not be worth refurbishing.
All in all, 50 billion square feet of commercial space in the US will need redeveloping by 2030, says author and researcher Arthur C. Nelson. One of the challenges to redeveloping such sites, however, is that they are often located on commercial strip corridors that are not appealing for mixed-use development. That challenge could be addressed by “complete streets” projects on major thoroughfares that need to be rebuilt anyway, setting the stage for redevelopment.
So, public investment is required. Nevertheless, Nelson makes a strong case for why these sites are likely to be reused.
Vacant shopping center
“Although parking lots and deteriorating low-rise structures may sound more like liabilities than assets, I believe they provide America with an unprecedented opportunity to meet emerging market needs by simply reshaping what