There’s an old saying that goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” When it comes to real estate, this saying holds true. As long as the buildings are still good and salvageable, there’s really no reason to tear them down for new buildings, especially in commercial real estate.
In many cases, the buildings that are being renovated and repurposed are historic buildings of past significance that stands in the way of their demolition. Repurposing these old buildings allows for their history to be preserved while instilling them with new life. All across the country old, abandoned buildings are being revived for different purposes. Take a look at a few of the abandoned buildings that are being transformed into something new.
Shopaholics may be familiar with the Westminster Arcade (aka Providence Arcade), which is widely regarded as America’s first indoor shopping mall. It was built in 1828, and the stunning structure had remained largely untouched since its creation. For nearly two centuries, the Arcade stood watch over Providence, and in 1976, it earned its place as a National Historic Landmark. Due to lack of accessibility and lack of easy access, the mall closed its doors in 2008. After a $10 million renovation, the doors reopened 6 years later in 2014. When the mall first opened, it was home to 48 unique boutiques; now, the Arcade is home to 38 micro apartments. These micro apartments are a growing trend sweeping America’s cities as the number of people looking for single occupancy residences continues to rise — in less than a century, the number of single person households in America has risen from 5% of the population to 27%. Clocking in between 225 and 300 sq.ft. per unit, these micro apartments are the perfect solution for this particular housing dilemma.
There are places just like the Arcade all over the country that have been filled with a new sense of life. Another such example is the Waterfall Resort in Ketchikan, Alaska which was built in 1912 as the Waterfall Cannery. For 70 years, it remained one of the most best seafood canneries in Alaska as well as one of the best spots for fishing in the country. Then, in 1982, it began transitioning into a luxury sport fishing retreat, one of the nicest in the world, all while preserving the original infrastructure of the area. The buildings that once used to house cannery workers now serve as fine lodging for guests, providing yet another example of how old buildings can be repurposed into new.