First, the good news: In this era of heightened demand for apartments, sky-high rents, and record office vacancies, metro Atlanta has cracked the top 10 (barely) in a new analysis ranking the most populous U.S. cities and their sheer number of former offices being converted to rental units.

The news less worthy of celebration: Atlanta still lags behind considerably smaller metros when it comes to the often-costly and tricky process of remaking underused or outdated office space into housing.

That’s according to an analysis released today by national apartment search website It tabulates that a record 55,339 apartments are being created right now across the country from old offices as cities continue to adjust to new hybrid or remote-work realities.

That’s nearly five times the number of adaptive-reuse rentals—a modest 12,100—that were in the U.S. pipeline just three years ago. And office conversions have climbed to 38 percent of the 147,000 apartments in the works for adaptive-reuse projects overall, according to RentCafe analysts.

“Our cities are riding a wave of change that’s been building up for the last four years,” the study’s summary notes. “The urban landscape is getting a makeover, shifting from corporate to community.”


Locally, metro Atlanta is currently bringing 1,422 apartments into existence from former office space—or more than half of the rentals expected to deliver this year. That’s an impressive 40 percent increase of adaptive-reuse units over the past year, with the 295-unit Broadstone Peachtree Corners project leading the way in terms of sheer size, according to the RentCafe analysis.

Those numbers, in metro Atlanta’s case, are good for No. 9 in the county.

That puts Atlanta behind three smaller, non-Sunbelt metros: Cleveland (No. 6, with 2012 office-conversion apartments forthcoming), Cincinnati (No. 7), and Kansas City (No. 8).

Opened in 2021, the Centennial Yards South apartments (at left) were once offices occupied by Norfolk Southern employees. They're a rare example of a downtown adaptive-reuse conversion to housing. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

It’s important to note the study is based on apartment data for buildings with 50 units or more, eliminating many boutique projects. And today, office buildings being converted to rentals are 72-years old on average—or 20 years newer than the previous average.

The top metro for office conversions is Washington D.C., where 5,820 units in the pipeline are more than quadruple Atlanta’s count, per RentCafe's numbers.

That’s followed by New York (5,215 units), Sunbelt competitor Dallas (3,163 units), Chicago (2,822), and Los Angeles (2,442) to round out the Top 5.



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• Atlanta (again) crowned best city in U.S. for working remote (Urbanize Atlanta)