Although simpler times have long since passed, a great many people still feel a sense of nostalgia when they step into an old building. Older, convertible buildings can also be a boon for real estate investors, as they are often priced below market value. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to retrofit these buildings to ensure they offer the state-of-the-art technology that most commercial real estate tenants want and need for their businesses. The solution? Find a way to have the best of both worlds.
When is Retrofitting an Old Building Worth the Cost and Effort?
Not every building can or should be retrofitted. Consider New York’s Pennsylvania Station as an example. The building, though a historical and architectural work of art, had become dilapidated to the point that it was a safety hazard, and the cost of repair was prohibitive. Without another practical use for the space, retrofitting seemed not only impossible, but also pointless. There are buildings that can be retrofitted, however – ones that would greatly benefit the community, investor, and potential tenant.
Consider a building that can be converted into an eco-friendly, high-tech space in a high-demand location with little additional building space. So long as the possible return on investment (ROI) and demand are high enough, the cost of retrofitting could be well worth the investment. As an added bonus, the investor is able to walk away from the project, knowing they benefited their community and the environment by not requiring a new space or additional resources.
Taking the First Steps – Due Diligence and Determining the Potential ROI
Before deciding to retrofit an older building, investors are encouraged to conduct their due diligence. First, determine the cost of repairs (which can be especially costly in older buildings). Be sure to consider things like bringing the electrical wiring and building structure up to code. Then determine if retrofitting is even possible, and calculate its total cost. It is also important to know what your potential ROI on the property might be. To reach an answer on this, you may want to look at what similar structures have rented or sold for in the area. If no transactions like yours have recently taken place, consider looking at structures in areas with similar demographics. Lastly, ensure you have the assistance and knowledge of a skilled legal professional on your side.
Contact Our DuPage County Commercial Real Estate Lawyers
Whether you are considering retrofitting an older space or would like to build something completely new, Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC is the firm to call. Seasoned and backed by more than 40 years of legal experience, our Wheaton real estate attorneys can assist you with every legal aspect of your next real estate project. Call 630-655-2500 and schedule your consultation wth our offices to get started today.