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This post originally appeared on SimonCRE Insights Blog and is republished with permission. Find out how to syndicate your content with theBrokerList.

Commercial redevelopment involves a variety of tactics used to repurpose an existing or dormant property to better serve the community. Redeveloping a property as an adaptive reuse has many advantages that can help boost your business. 

Let’s take a look at how operating out of an adaptive reuse property can help benefit not only your business, but also the community. 

Assess the property and surrounding community 

Building Structure  

Determine if the building will fulfill your business’s operating needs. Adaptive reuse properties can come with structure limitations. You might not be able to make major property renovations to the infrastructure, which is why it’s important to ensure your business will be able to thrive within the space without being constricted. If your clients can clearly tell you don’t comfortably fit in an adaptive reuse building, it will negatively impact their experience as well. Hire a professional to determine if the property can be considered as an adaptive reuse. Inspections prior to move in are important because they can save you from unforeseen costs in the future. Imagine moving into an adaptive reuse building only to find out that it requires more upkeep than you can afford. Hazards associated with the building structure, such as asbestos lead poisoning, lack of ADA accessibility, or lack of fire protection could also pose a threat to safety. 


Adaptive reuse properties can come with many benefits, prime location being one of them. Make sure your business is appropriately located to complement other existing businesses in the area. Maybe you are opening a restaurant in an area among other similar restaurants, except yours is the only one to serve pizza. Doing some research to assess competition can help you determine if your business will do well in an adaptive reuse property. One of the best advantages of adaptive reuse buildings are they can have great locations, especially in urban areas where all other space is already taken up. Moving into an adaptive reuse building can help boost your business to be seen in an area that gets a lot of traffic, and sometimes that’s worth the sacrifice of a building with a few imperfections. New businesses looking to get exposure could highly benefit from adaptive reuse properties in prime locations because it exposes their business to attract as many customers as possible. 

Historical Preservation 

Cultural Value 

Many communities would agree that maintaining their historical value is important. People appreciate solid communal foundations. Historical buildings are often the best and most visible examples. Properties that are preserved and have a backstory are cherished for as long as they stand because they add dimension to the local community and carry a legacy that stands out among other structures. If you are considering an adaptive reuse property, it’s important you remember to present your business image in a way that connects to community roots. In 2011, SimonCRE adapted a historic building built in 1917 in the Grand Avenue neighborhood of Phoenix, AZ formerly known as O.S. Stapley hardware into what is now known as the Tuft & Needle headquarters. Tuft & Needle, being a mattress industry disruptor, helps elevate the redeveloping Grand Avenue neighborhood community by complementing the historic value of the structure and adding to the history of this building. Adaptive reuse properties have an ability to take on a persona of their own, so make sure your business is able to coexist with the personality of the property. 

Sustainable Value 

Adaptive reuse properties not only create a bridge between old and new, but they involve practices that help elevate its sustainable value. Renovations may be necessary, but there is no ground up development involved in adaptive reuse. This saves old materials from being torn down and sent to the landfill. Adaptive reuse reduces the need for demolition and heavy machinery. Construction time is shortened due to the property already having an existing structure. Adaptive reuse building also helps to conserve land by reducing the need for expansion. Often environmental remediation occurs as well where asbestos or lead-based paint is removed to account for customer safety. Employees and clients associated with an adaptive reuse building are more likely to have shorter commute times due to the business being located among urban residential communities. Communities that consist of businesses and residences that are clustered together reduce the need for vehicles because resources are located within walking distance. Adaptive reuse properties help reduce the carbon footprint of an urban community. 

Costs and Savings 


It’s important to be aware of how much redevelopment an adaptive reuse property will need. Sometimes it’s not feasible to bring the property up to modern standards after it’s aged to the point of needing to have a lot of work done. Even if it’s a great location and size for your business, you’ll need to calculate if your expected return is worth the amount of renovations needed to operate out of the building. Another factor to consider is the amount of money it will take to keep up with ongoing costs of the property. Some historic buildings need constant attention due to parts of the building malfunctioning from age or old design systems having to accommodate for a higher volume of people than originally intended, such as plumbing. Ongoing costs can take away from your profit and cause significant financial burdens. Conduct your own research on the property before you decide to make a decision. 


If you can find the right property, there’s a chance you can save more money by investing into an adaptive reuse building, rather than a ground up development project. Some adaptive reuse properties only require a few renovations before they are ready for use; however, this depends on many factors including the age of the building, its old purpose, new intended use, and how long it has been vacant, if at all. If you do find that the cost of renovating the property is within your budget, you might want to consider making updates to the building that will increase its energy efficiency for the long term. Doing so will help you to keep costs down in the future to help increase profits and could be eligible for possible state or federal tax credit for creating energy efficiency. Figuring out where you can save money requires careful calculation and is truly a balancing act of your budget and resources.  

Ultimately, adaptive reuse properties are meant to help communities thrive for the foreseeable future. They give an outdated space a modernized boost and some structures can even transform into historic staples of their community that are cherished into the next generation of the building’s life. Research and calculation are two of the most important tools you’ll need to be successful in an adaptive reuse property. 



Vice President of Development

Peter Krahenbuhl started at SimonCRE in 2015 as a Project Manager and now serves as Vice President of Development. He plays a vital role in the daily planning and development associated with successfully driving multiple projects from inception to completion.


Other Posts by Peter: 

Should You Hire a Developer to Redevelop Your Space?

Hidden Costs of Commercial Redevelopment & How to Avoid Them

Top Benefits of Commercial Redevelopment + Examples