99% Invisible has a very timely episode of their podcast about all the ins and outs of converting commercial high-rises into much-needed housing. New York is hardly alone in having simultaneous vacant office buildings while not having enough places for people to live. According to 99% Invisible:
Right now, in Manhattan, 18% of office space is vacant. At the same time, the city of New York has a major housing problem, with more than 100,000 people using the municipal shelter system.
The above-pictured 25 Water St is an example of a recent conversion.
My neighbourhood is filled with empty storefronts which have been vacant for years. I’d love to see Montréal incentivize the owners of these buildings to turn them into apartments.
Photo by Michael Young (Source)