More Than 60 NYC Offices Pursuing Residential Conversions, New Data Shows


New Yorkers may joke that they live at the office, but new data from the Department of City Planning suggest some actually will.

Through New York City’s Office Conversion Accelerator Program, 64 office owners have expressed interest in office-to-residential conversions, the Gothamist reported. That’s an uptick in demand from January when City Planning said it had 46 offices targeted for residential conversion.

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The exact number of buildings anticipated to participate in the city’s accelerator program is unclear, as are the addresses of the latest offices to demonstrate interest. A spokesperson for City Planning did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The increase in plans for office-to-residential conversions speaks to both pandemic-induced office vacancies and New York City’s housing shortage. As of January, more than 95 million square feet of New York City office space was unoccupied, CBS News reported. Meanwhile, 2023 data released in February showed apartment availability in the city hit a historic low of 1.4 percent. 

In response to such concerns, the Office Conversion Accelerator Program launched in August to connect owners with government contacts, easing the conversion process and its zoning requirements. Owners that can provide at least 50 housing units are eligible for the accelerator, according to the program’s website

Through the accelerator — and in conjunction with Mayor Eric Adams’s “City of Yes” rezoning initiatives — the city hopes to convert offices into some 20,000 apartments for 40,000 New Yorkers by 2033. 

As of May, seven city projects have either converted to residential or started the process. Five of those projects are in the Financial District — where most office-to-residential conversions tend to occur — while the others are in Murray Hill and Midtown, the Department of City Planning told Gothamist.

Yet despite demand, office-to-residential conversions are no easy feat. Difficulties include acquisition costs and incompatible infrastructure, among other challenges. (Tax breaks, however, may soften the difficulties.)

Anna Staropoli can be reached at




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