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Commercial-to-Residential Property Conversions: Financing Options, Tax Credits, Government Incentives

Note: CPE credit is not offered on this program

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE video webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Monday, March 4, 2024

Recorded event now available

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This CLE webinar will examine the benefits and risks of converting or repurposing distressed commercial property into residential space. The panel will discuss the legal and financing challenges and opportunities and how tax credits and government incentives can make conversion a viable option for certain properties.


Office property vacancies are especially high in many of the country's metropolitan areas, and owners of office space have begun to unload their properties at heavily discounted prices--evidence that stakeholders believe the soft office space market is here to stay. While local rules, zoning laws, and other market factors can make converting office space into residential space complex and expensive, conversion is a viable option for some properties, especially where tax credits and local government incentives are available.

Commercial-to-residential (CTR) conversions have been an agenda item for many urban planners and public officials in leading markets across the county with many cities implementing programs to aid conversion projects via zoning changes, expedited permitting processes, and tax credits and other incentives. The CTR conversion trend has drawn the attention of the federal government as the Biden administration recently released a guidebook outlining different federal programs that could be used to assist projects repurposing vacant office space for residential use.

Even with government incentives, converting commercial property into housing is not always financially feasible. Local regulations can make it difficult to convert modern office buildings with deep interiors into residential properties. However, converting office and retail space into residential property might make sense when obsolescence is the alternative, or when an older building bears features that might be attractive to potential residential tenants, but not to modern office tenants.

Listen as our authoritative panel discusses the growing trend of CTR property conversions. The panel will examine the pros and cons of such conversions and analyze the financing alternatives available that can make these conversions a viable option for owners and investors.



  1. Converting distressed commercial property to residential: current market trends
  2. Legal and land use considerations with property conversions
    1. Zoning
    2. Covenants and conditions
    3. Use of amenities
    4. Lender/lien issues
    5. State laws governing fractionals and rentals
  3. Financing options for the CTR conversion
    1. Banks and other traditional lenders
    2. Private equity investors
    3. Tax credits
    4. Government incentives
      1. Biden administration's comprehensive guidebook
      2. HUD community development block grants
      3. Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act financing
      4. Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing
      5. Opportunity zones
      6. Other government incentive programs
  4. Key takeaways


The panel will address these and other key issues:

  • How has the distressed commercial real estate market prompted an increase in CTR property conversions?
  • How have changes to zoning and permitting processes in some of the larger commercial real estate markets aided property conversion projects?
  • What are the circumstances that make a CTR property conversion a compelling option for owners and investors?
  • How can property owners take advantage of federal and local governmental programs to help finance a CTR property conversion?


Atzrott Hamburg, Hilary
Hilary G. Atzrott Hamburg


Ms. Hamburg works with clients in the drafting and negotiation of agreements related to the acquisition, development,...  |  Read More

Saft, Stuart
Stuart M. Saft

Partner, New York Real Estate Practice Group Leader, Co-Chair of Condominium Development and Conversion Team
Holland & Knight

Mr. Saft has extensive experience in the development, financing, leasing, conversion-to-condominium and cooperative...  |  Read More

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