Office to Residential Conversion Symposium

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Light Industry 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.



According to Kastle Systems, the average office occupancy as of December 2022 across the top 10 U.S. cities is just under 50% of pre-pandemic occupancy. This trend suggests a pending plateau beneath pre-pandemic levels, where return to office is four days a week or less. As office anchors downsize, how can former office and retail spaces be repurposed and rebalanced towards new demand drivers?



Light industrial uses offer opportunities to enliven retail spaces. Watching something get built or crafted becomes part of the experience that engenders excitement and encourages visitors to return—a true “buy local” opportunity for all involved. The term ‘light industry’ and ‘small-scale manufacturing’ are often used interchangeably, and typically refer to a diverse array of activities, from small batch, artisanal manufacturers of specialty food products and consumer goods to warehouses and laboratories. As small-scale manufacturing becomes cleaner, quieter, and more compact—these uses, like light industry, also have become better candidates for vacant storefronts. Learn how ensuring light industry or small-scale manufacturing can add to retail tenant mixes in Ready for Reinvention.



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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