What is Adaptive Reuse, and How is it Impacting Arizona Real Estate?

What is Adaptive Reuse, and How is it Impacting Arizona Real Estate

Adaptive reuse is a term increasingly heard around Arizona commercial real estate circles. The City of Phoenix even has a department devoted to supporting adaptive reuse efforts in the community.? So, what is adaptive reuse and how is it impacting Arizona real estate?

Adaptive Reuse

Adaptive reuse occurs when a developer takes an older property and updates it for today?s purposes while maintaining certain elements of its character. Unlike a total demolition, adaptive reuse real estate projects aim to preserve the history of Arizona architecture and culture, while breathing life back into unused spaces.

In 2008, the City of Phoenix launched its adaptive reuse program to preserve the community’s buildings while promoting economic expansion and growth.? This movement has spared iconic Arizona properties such as the Beef Eaters? Restaurant building from being torn down in favor of adding new businesses to the existing structure. This classic Phoenix icon closed in 2006, but has experienced a renewal as The Newton, where it is now home to Changing Hands bookstore and other community businesses.

The trend towards repurposing traditional community structures appears to be appealing to consumers.? With several projects having been commercially successful throughout the state, adaptive reuse projects seem to be a likely fixture for the foreseeable future in communities such as Tempe, Phoenix, Mesa, Sedona, Flagstaff, Glendale, Scottsdale, and others. Additionally, commercial real estate in Maricopa County is likely to continue to be in high demand. Those looking to invest in competitive markets may find more opportunities if they are willing to make adaptations to existing buildings.

Before taking on an adaptive use project in Arizona, it’s essential to take specific steps such as:

  • Connecting with local municipal programs. Many Arizona cities have resources in place to support adaptive reuse efforts.
  • Learning about area zoning and land use issues. A commercial adaptive reuse project often involves building and operating multiple types of businesses in a common area. Before planning, it’s important to know of any potential zoning or land use restrictions that may inhibit certain types of development.
  • Learning about any Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R?s) on the property. The property may have deed restrictions that were put in place by the developer that may or may not work for a project. Additionally, other conditions may have been imposed over time.? It?s important to know as much as you can about any limitations.
  • Researching the building’s condition, including any outdated safety issues that will need to be addressed and creating a repair and construction timeline. Older properties may have been up to code when they were built and now require extensive updating.

Getting in on the ground floor of an Arizona commercial real estate adaptive reuse project can be an innovative and exciting undertaking.? However, before you begin development, it?s vital to do your due diligence concerning the property and municipal and state laws.

Laura B. Bramnick is an experienced Arizona real estate attorney who can help you understand the legal aspects of your adaptive reuse project.? If you are seeking an exceptional, client-driven real estate lawyer in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Sedona, and throughout the State of Arizona, contact Laura B. Bramnick to schedule your consultation.

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