Contract Surety

Office Building Conversions



Vacant office buildings became a thing–fast–during the height of COVID-19, and offices never really filled back up, or returned to “normal,” despite the hopes of employers and realtors. Around the country, construction is underway to convert office spaces into badly needed housing. Take a look at some of the conversion projects now underway. 


Seismic Shift

The dramatic shift away from “the office” as the center of every work day (and in many ways life), has brought about tremendous changes that appear to be here to stay. As employers and employees navigate a new balance, “hybrid” (working part of the week in the office and part of the week remotely) has become the way to go in many companies. Statistics paint a near future in which working remotely working remotely, at least some of the time, becomes the new norm for more and more employees: 


According to Upwork, by 2025, an estimated 32.6 million Americans will be working remotely, which equates to about 22% of the workforce….This projection suggests a continuous, yet gradual, shift towards remote work arrangements….A staggering 98% of workers expressed the desire to work remotely, at least part of the time….A remarkable 93% of employers plan to continue conducting job interviews remotely [4]. This indicates a willingness to adapt to virtual methods and signals the recognition of remote work as a sustainable option.


Remote work of course defeats the very purpose of many office buildings, but presents tremendous opportunities for investors and contractors. Companies simply no longer need to maintain such large footprints. Meanwhile, housing cannot be built fast enough across the country. Enter the promising practice of converting offices to homes, as exemplified by the largest such endeavor currently underway in the U.S.:


New York City developers GFP Real Estate and Metro Loft Management are in the process of converting the 22-story, 1.1-million-square foot office tower at 25 Water Street in New York City’s Financial District into a 1,263-unit apartment building. Originally built in 1969, 25 Water Street offers views of lower Manhattan and New York Harbor from all of its floors, and has 2 acres of plazas and parks surrounding it at street level. With a loan of over $538 million, it is poised to be one the largest-ever office-to-multifamily conversion in the United States … .Units will range from studios to four bedrooms in size, with 12-foot ceilings drawn from the original building plan. Amenities will include a basketball court, a steam room and sauna, indoor and outdoor pools, sports simulators and a landscaped rooftop terrace, among other entertaining and coworking spaces.


Interestingly, though regularly commuting to an office is out of style, what appears to be popular among the desired amenities in multifamily housing, is the availability of space for coworking. Mixed use complexes are another trend as office spaces like the Ames Center in Arlington, Virginia are converted for current needs and interests:


Snell Properties is in the process of redeveloping 1820 Fort Myer Drive, currently home to the Ames Center office building, into a mixed-use site with two residential towers totaling 740 units, including an affordable component. The property, originally developed by Snell in 1966, is next to the Rosslyn Metro station, and within a short distance of two bridges across the Potomac River into downtown Washington, D.C. The redevelopment plan also calls for commercial and office space, a 225-room hotel and the reconstruction of a church and gas station currently located on the site.


Flexibility and Forward Motion 

Flexibility, speed and the power to pursue new possibilities are more important than ever toward operating a successful construction business. For help, contractors across the country are turning to Colonial Surety for The Partnership Account®


Once qualified for, you’ll use our power of attorney to issue your own bid bonds, in minutes. Order performance and payment bonds with speed and ease too. Run your business more efficiently and competitively than ever as you leverage your:



  • surety line of credit—in writing;
  • private digital dashboard;
  • daily snapshot of single and aggregate limits 
  • ability to update work on hand—and increase your aggregate.



Get started right now—and get your free financial scores too:


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Founded in 1930, Colonial Surety Company is a leading direct seller and writer of surety bonds and insurance products across the USA. Colonial is rated “A Excellent” by A.M. Best Company and U.S. Treasury listed. Let’s connect today: Colonial Surety.