Publications

- September 1, 2022: Vol. 16, Number 8

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The art of repurposing: Shifting urban landscapes, housing demand and decarbonisation are leading to a growth in adaptive reuse across the globe

by Marek Handzel

Reimagining, rebuilding and repurposing real estate has always played a key role in investors’ ability to create value. In today’s post-COVID world, however, the ability to change a property’s use has taken on a new level of importance. And it is adaptive reuse, specifically, that is rapidly becoming a central element of the repurposing toolkit.

As Tony Smedley, head of European private equity at Heitman, explains, adaptive reuse strategies can strongly benefit from the opportunities that have been created by the COVID-19 crisis and changing occupier habits. Traditional real estate sec-tors, such as office and retail, face unprecedented structural challenges, while the industrial, living and other alternative sectors continue to expand rapidly. Changing the use of properties in traditional sectors is increasingly being considered, as the developed world comes to terms with nearshoring, new supply chains and the housing crisis. “[And] given today’s volatile geopoliti

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