When you purchase an SUV, it doesn’t matter what your intended use is; the price is the same. Whether it will be used to transport your large family from here to there and back again or for weekend off-road excursions in the wilderness (or a little of both) doesn’t matter. So, as Washington developer Conrad Cafritz asks, why should space in a building be any different?
As The Washington Post reports, Cafritz’s latest real estate venture is to blur the lines between work and home, offering the opportunity to do both from one building. As with the SUV, after someone rents out a unit, what they do with it is up to them. The space can be used as an apartment for someone to live in, or it can be configured as an office. Either way, the rent doesn’t change.
This new venture, known as e-lofts, is beginning with a $250 million investment to acquire and rehab empty office buildings and make them available for residential tenants or businesses. If this initial investment works, the goal is to then expand to suburban office markets nationwide by buying and converting between 50 and 100 vacant buildings.
The $50 million prototype building is located in Alexandria, Va., and has been vacant since 2008. The building will provide each tenant with access to a kitchen, a washer and dryer, and a full bathroom.
As telecommuting and start-up entrepreneurship continue to grow, homes and offices are morphing into one entity, and, as evidenced by the sizable investment, Cafritz sees this trend continuing in the future.