Office to Residential Conversion Symposium

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Educational & Institutional Trends from Ready for Reinvention: 2023 Trend Report

  • Insights
by The Streetsense Collective

Ready for Reinvention: 2023 Trend Report, made with support from CBRE, is for all parties involved in the real estate ecosystem and urban place management, including but not limited to investors, property owners, tenants, consumers, and the public and non-profit sectors.



Traditionally, commercial districts with large office anchors offered a guaranteed customer base that supported an ecosystem of symbiotic uses. Post-pandemic, this traditional relationship has been upended due to office downsizing and increased vacancy. As office anchors downsize, former office and retail spaces are poised to be repurposed for alternative uses. The question we must now ask ourselves is this: if not retail or office, then what?


Mixed-use environments are often excellent candidates for institutional and educational uses—the proverbial “eds and meds” that include both colleges and universities, as well as medical facilities, hospitals, nursing homes, and doctor’s offices. These institutions are often large, stationary and heavily invested in ensuring that the communities they are in are easily accessible, safe, and amenity-rich. Former office space often offers open and adaptable floor plates, sufficient floor-to-ceiling dimensions, and MEP systems scalable to the occupancy requirements of such institutional uses. The conversion of office spaces to higher education spaces offers a new and secure customer base to support the surrounding retail and restaurant uses. Dive into Ready for Reinvention to learn how institutions can aid in the rebalancing of commercial districts.


The Place Consulting team works to identify, analyze, and solve real estate and place-based challenges from the perspectives of key stakeholders in the real estate ecosystem, including investors, property owners, tenants, and consumers. We take pride in our award-winning diagnostic methodology, one that begins with uncompromising research: identifying unmet potential and diagnosing the hurdles in the way to meeting it. Our diagnostic ensures we have defined and fully understood the challenges, while also educating our clients and setting us up for highly executable solutions and recommendations that support return on investment— however it is measured.


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