Montgomery Planning Department publishes an interesting blog called The Third Place. In planning, the third place is the social realm separate from home and the workplace, an inclusive forum for dialogue crucial for civic engagement and community building.
One of their recent blogs discussed the future of aging office buildings. The Planning Department listed several factors are influencing such conversions of aging office structures to other uses:
Our downtowns are mostly built up with high density office buildings that are too expensive to tear down and rebuild.
There is pent-up demand for residential development in walkable, urban places throughout the county, particularly in close proximity to transit.
The office market continues to languish as technology disrupts working habits and drastically shrinks the space required per worker.
The article also noted that the most likely candidates for conversions will continue to be in locations that are well served by transit and situated within a walkable framework of blocks and streets. (Places just like the Pike District. Building quirks can transform into interesting architectural features. Innovative repurposing of aging office buildings could also lead to more affordable housing.
The Octave in Silver Spring was once an office building and is now home to 102 condos.
Read more about converting office buildings into residential space by clicking here.