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As American manufacturing declined over the decades, major cities inherited vast stretches of disused factories and warehouses. Eventually, savvy owners and developers redesigned and renovated that manufacturing space to create desirable downtown condominiums and loft apartments, often with stylish industrial accouterments.

Now, in metropolitan business environments forever altered by the Covid-19 pandemic, an abandoned office space is today’s empty factory. With many major urban areas still facing housing shortages for working professionals, the minds behind a new trend explore the possibility of transforming offices into residential real estate opportunities.