KARE 11: The Urgency (and Stark Reality) of Office to Housing Conversion Projects

KARE 11 features Sherman Associates’ office-to-housing conversion projects in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The article discusses the growing trend of converting vacant office spaces into residential apartments in downtown areas, particularly in the Twin Cities. With a significant percentage of office space sitting empty due to changes in work dynamics post-pandemic, Sherman sees an opportunity to repurpose these spaces.

Northstar Center in Minneapolis and Landmark Towers in St. Paul are highlighted as examples of this conversion trend. Despite the challenges such as high costs and building limitations, Sherman believes these conversions are essential for revitalizing downtown areas, boosting the housing market, and stabilizing the local tax base. With that, office-to-housing conversions are more sustainable compared to new construction projects since they benefit the local economy by reallocating the majority of expenditures from materials to local labor, thereby supporting workers and reducing the environmental impact from using new materials.

The article also touches on the potential impact of these conversions on commercial real estate values and the broader economy, as well as the optimism for future growth and development in these urban districts.

About Northstar Center

Sherman Associates in partnership with Polaris Properties Group, Taconic Capital Advisors, and Wilson Street Hotel Group is completing a $250 million master-planned redevelopment of Northstar Center in Minneapolis’ central business district. The parties are completing a historic conversion of the former office space, hotel, and parking garage to deliver a coordinated ecosystem of uses to downtown Minneapolis including apartment homes, a repositioned office tower and parking garage, renovated hotel, public-facing meetings and events facility, and a variety of new restaurants and retail concepts.

Sherman is redeveloping the Northstar Center East building, a $92 million investment in the 13-story office tower, to deliver 216 apartment homes called Groove Lofts at Northstar Center which will open this fall.

About Landmark Tower

Sherman Associates is completing a $100 million historic office-to-residential conversion of Landmark Towers to deliver 187 apartment homes to downtown St. Paul in the spring of 2025. This public-private partnership with the City of St. Paul supports the City’s plan to drive residential tax base and growth downtown and supports its vision for vibrancy and 24/7 activity.

Watch the KARE 11 feature here: https://www.kare11.com/article/news/local/kare11-extras/twin-cities-office-to-housing-conversion-projects/89-560577b7-8bdf-432e-9642-088a0687ab8b