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Ontario  + Alberta & Prairies  + Canada  + Office  | 
The City of London, Ont., plans to launch a downtown office-to-residential real estate conversion program.

Southern Ontario City to Launch Office-Conversion Program

The City of London, Ont., plans to launch a downtown office-to-residential real estate conversion program.

Mayor Josh Morgan said the city intends to award developers with grants of $20,000 per one-bedroom unit and $28,000 for each suite containing two or more bedrooms. Morgan outlined the program in a state of the city speech to the London Chamber of Commerce.

If all goes according to plan, the city will finance the conversion program through a $74-million investment that it received from the federal government’s Housing Accelerator Fund.

“The opportunity to breathe new life into old buildings is immense,” said Morgan during his speech.

London’s proposed office-conversion effort differs in that the Southern Ontario city comprises a secondary market. Thus far, Canada’s office-conversion movement’s traction has occurred in major urban centres.

Calgary has implemented a $75-million downtown office-to-residential program that has been suspended until its exhausted budget is replenished. Meanwhile, Edmonton and Toronto city councillors are attempting to kick-start possible conversion programs in those cities.

Like other Canadian markets, London is grappling with high office vacancy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote-work trend and other challenges. Morgan said City of London staff will propose the program to council’s planning committee February 21.

If the planning committee approves the proposal, council will consider it at a later date.

Photo: City of London, Ontario

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City of Lonndon, OntarioJosh Morgan

About Monte Stewart

Monte Stewart serves as Content Director - Canada for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Monte provides daily news coverage of major Canadian commercial real estate markets, including Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. He has written about the real estate sector for various media outlets and Avison Young since the early 2000s. In addition, he has covered sports, general news and business for several leading wire services and publications, including The Canadian Press, The Associated Press, The Calgary Herald, The Globe and Mail, Research Money, The Daily Oil Bulletin, Natural Gas World and The Toronto Star. Monte is active in his community as a youth basketball coach and raises funds for such charitable causes as Movember.

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