A recent Boston Globe article reiterated the housing challenges faced by Boston Metro area residents. The escalating cost of homes and apartments motivates investors to find Boston area commercial properties that could be repurposed into living space. This has been done on a large scale for years, but individual investors and the owner-occupant can also find properties with conversion potential.
This is not an endeavor for the faint of heart. There are many challenges in converting commercial space to residential, and one must have the wherewithal, vision and perseverance to see the project through. Here are some considerations:
- Zoning changes and permits will be required, and substantial renovation may be involved to bring the building up to residential code.
- Former industrial spaces can contain hazards like asbestos, lead paint or other contaminants. Removal of these elements can be costly.
- Commercial buildings often lack the plumbing, wall placement and natural lighting of a home.
- The excessively high ceilings and open floor plan of a warehouse, while appealing, can be problematic in conversions.
- Acoustics and energy-efficiency are other common challenges.
With those cautions in mind, here are some features to look for:
- A location that is within a partially-residential area, or bordering a residential area.
- A location that is near other redevelopment or progressive change.
- A location that would be desirable whether you renovated the existing structure, or tore it down and built new.
- A property with a good foundation and solid construction.
There are many areas around Boston Metro that present opportunities for commercial property investment, conversion or redevelopment. We can help you search for properties from Haverhill to Plymouth!
Using the guidance of an experienced commercial real estate broker who understands the market is essential to your success! Whether you are thinking of buying Boston Metro commercial real estate as an investment, or to house your business operations, we can help you find the ideal property. Please contact us today for expert guidance!