Dark windows. Quiet lobbies. Hushed halls.
With many of New York’s hotels and office buildings unoccupied for more than a year now — and questions over whether some will ever fill up again — an effort is afoot to convert some commercial structures into housing or other uses. The result could be a wave of building conversions not seen since the crash of the late 1980s.
From corporate high rises in the financial district to boutique lodgings near Central Park to mid-market accommodations in Midtown, real estate players are redeveloping or canvassing dozens of sites, according to those involved. The discussions fall into three categories: converting offices to housing, hotels to housing, and hotels to offices.
Eric Anton, an agent with the firm Marcus and Millichap who specializes in selling buildings, said that of the seven hotels in New York he represents, three are likely to become senior housing, one will become market-rate apartments and the balance will remain hotels.
“A lot of the conversations revolve around whether the conversions can happen efficiently,” Mr. Anton said.