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The ‘Offices-To-Homes’ Trend

11.05.21

The relationship we all had with offices has changed but many experts and developers are now saying that the change will outlast the pandemic. Abode2 explores the ‘Office-to-Home’ renovation trend and peers in at some current iconic office to residential conversions from around the world.

The ‘office-to-home’ concept is gaining popularity in the UK, with the City of London having announcing plans to create at least 1,500 new homes by repurposing offices left empty because of the pandemic, as it adapts the capital's financial district for what is to come.

The trend that has been significantly increasing with the decline in appetite for office space following the pandemic, this enables developers to put some of the city's most valuable, interesting and often historic buildings to excellent use, despite their change in purpose, whilst giving the term 'Work from home' a whole new meaning.

Such office conversions often have a multitude of advantageous features, from their prime city-centre location and large flexible floor plates to their high ceilings, that combined, make them perfect residential offerings.

This growing popularity of the movement is being echoed in major cities worldwide, with redevelopments across the continent and on both sides of the Atlantic.

One Wall Street is a 56-storey Art Deco landmark, built in 1931 by architect Ralph Walker and located to the east of the New York Stock Exchange and Broadway. The building will house 566 capacious condos and provide residents with 100,000 square feet of amenity space - including state-of-the-art athletic club, full-floor event and entertainment space, dog grooming, spa services - all with unobstructed views of New York Harbour and the Statue of Liberty.

Upon completion late next year, One Wall Street will become home to 174,000 square feet of retail space, including LifeTime and Whole Foods, with two additional tenants yet to be named. Life Time announced they will open a 74,000-square-foot health and wellness member-based club for their second Athletic Lifestyle Resort, which will be the company’s largest space in New York City and, combined with a 44,000-square-foot Whole Foods, will become the most extensive health and wellness centre in New York City.

On the opposite side of the pond, Twenty Grosvenor Square is located in the heart of London’s Mayfair neighbourhood and is rich in history. The building has been home to earls, dukes, barons and was once the headquarters of the US Naval Force in Europe, from where General Dwight Eisenhower orchestrated the D-Day landings during World War II. Until 2009, the United States Navy continued to use this building as its headquarters for United States Naval Forces Europe.

Now, the private residences at Twenty Grosvenor Square is Four Seasons’ first standalone residential project. The residences are managed entirely by Four Seasons and provides its residents with the same, highly personalised services and first-class amenities that they would expect from the hotelier’s five-star hotels. With 37 homes, Twenty Grosvenor Square offers amazing amenities including a state-of-the art fitness centre, 25-meter swimming pool with adjacent vitality pool, sauna, steam room and spa treatment suite, private wine cellar, 18 seat cinema, business suite,garden library and landscaped courtyard oasis in the middle of the city.

The ‘Office-to-Home’ trend has even taken off on the continent. The first Four Seasons in Spain opened in September in the heart of the capital – Centro Canalejas - that has been carefully transformed into one dynamic destination of 22 private residences and a 200-room hotel. Seven historic buildings have been merged together to form branded residences, a Hotel and a shopping destination, were previously in disuse for 15 years, with one of the oldest buildings dating from the 1800s. The Centro Canalejas building was formerly home to a bank which Four Seasons have preserved and restored, reinstalling 3,700 historical artefacts throughout, including original bank teller counters and a 14-tonne safe, the door of which connects the Hotel with La Galería retail gallery.

The property draws on its history and heritage as being a recognizable landmark in the city, that for the first time has become accessible to everyone. Just steps from Kilómetro Cero, or Kilometre Zero, the point from which all distances are measured in Spain, the building has been a significant part of the city for the more than 100 years that it has been standing.

These developments display the move in the market, based on how we now use space and act as beacons, highlighting how different the world may look if the modern, glass fronted offices we see across major cities today, should have the same fate. Only time will tell how much of or offices spaces we will loose and how many luxury, prime location properties we will gain, but this trend just keeps becoming more and more popular across the globe and shows no signs of fading soon.

Find out more about the properties featured:

One Wall Street, New York

Twenty Grosvenor Square

Four Seasons Madrid

 

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