Triplex with office space

5 Replies

Hi

I am pondering buying a building. It's in a beautiful area, residential area. It has 3 residential units and 2 basement office spaces. Currently the area is zoned as mixed use. I want to covert the 2 office spaces into 1 unit. There's already plumbing but I would have to merge electrical / heating. Does anyone have any experience doing this? Run into any zoning issues? It would be my first real estate purchase and I would be living in one of the units. Thanks in advance!

Hi @Lauren Wiggins , this is an exciting proposition!  I don't have experience with this exact scenario, but with my recent interactions with the city Zoning office about a case I'd venture to guess that since you are not trying to change the use, but rather are trying to reduce the overall number of units, you'd not need to re-zone.  

That said, you'll likely need a building permit to alter the electrical system and to remove walls, and that might lead you into a precarious situation with the city since they love love love to force updates when building permits are pulled.

Originally posted by @Will Fraser :

Hi @Lauren Wiggins, this is an exciting proposition!  I don't have experience with this exact scenario, but with my recent interactions with the city Zoning office about a case I'd venture to guess that since you are not trying to change the use, but rather are trying to reduce the overall number of units, you'd not need to re-zone.  

That said, you'll likely need a building permit to alter the electrical system and to remove walls, and that might lead you into a precarious situation with the city since they love love love to force updates when building permits are pulled.

 Thanks Will! Super helpful!

@Jeff Stein tbh I have no specific reason why. I was concerned I would have difficulty renting out the small spaces and thought it would be easier and more profitable over time to just make it a residence. The office spaces are just that - space with a bathroom. I don’t have the knowledge to know who would want to rent such a small space. 

@Lauren Wiggins

I would recommend starting with rents. Try to get a good sense of what residential units are rent for in your area for that size and also try to get some commercial comps. Commercial rents do vary a lot, but they typically can wind down to price per square foot per year ($/sqft/yr). Some include taxes, repairs and insurance (triple net, NNN), others just have some portion of this included. The busier the street, the easier I found commercial space is to lease. check the department of transportation website. For reference, I have had no problem renting out office space that has good signage and >30k cars per day traveling by.