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real estate broker - Hana Cha

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In the Press: DIGITAL JOURNAL

Hana Cha discusses Biden-Harris administration’s commercial-to-residential conversion initiative for Real Estate Developers

In October 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration unveiled a transformative initiative for real estate developers to convert high-vacancy commercial buildings into affordable, energy-efficient housing. The move addresses the pressing issue of soaring office vacancies nationwide, simultaneously tackling the long-standing shortage of affordable housing. This strategic step aligns with the broader White House Housing Supply Action Plan, emphasizing affordability, increased job access, and a commitment to building a clean energy economy as integral components of the administration’s economic agenda.

Hana Cha, a seasoned real estate professional, shares her insights on this initiative.

How do you view the Biden-Harris Administration’s initiative to support the conversion of high-vacancy commercial buildings to residential use in the context of the current real estate landscape?

This initiative is a timely and strategic response to the evolving dynamics in the real estate market, especially after what real estate developers have been through over the last several years. With commercial real estate facing unprecedented challenges, the proposal acknowledges the need for adaptive solutions to repurpose vacant spaces and address the growing demand for housing.

The Biden-Harris Administration emphasizes the potential benefits of commercial-to-residential conversions, including revitalizing downtowns and reducing emissions. From your perspective, what broader societal and economic impacts can be expected from these projects?

The societal and economic impacts are substantial. Firstly, real estate developers have an opportunity with these conversions to breathe new life into rural main streets and major urban areas where office vacancies are decimating core downtown neighborhoods; these efforts inject a new pulse of rejuvenation for the broader communities in these prime cities. Secondly, repurposing existing structures aligns with long-term environmental goals, contributing to reduced greenhouse gas emissions and promoting energy-efficient housing by reusing what we have available. Additionally, the preservation of historical buildings with architectural significance adds unique value to communities.

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