Repurposing Schools, Churches, and Masonic Halls

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Does anyone have experience repurposing institutional buildings like schools, churches, or masonic halls?

Seems that these are often ridiculously cheap - but I'm thinking the market knows more than I do and they are cheap for a reason.

Churches are often beautiful buildings in great shape, but are very awkward to convert into a SFH or apartments.

Schools tend to be large projects requiring significant resources to remodel into apartments or senior facility and can be either in decent shape or quite run down.

Masonic halls are often very similar to commercial buildings but usually need a lot of rehab.

Also many of the bargains are in economically depressed or low/no growth areas.

But still the price on these can be so low that getting positive cashflow should be easy.

And there may be LIHTC (low income housing tax credits) available - anyone managed to snag any of those?

@Dave Nixon Interesting you picked up on this...small town churches are dropping like flies...

I manage large capital improvement projects on institutions...just keep in mind that you'll be working with a lot of different entities, including an architect/designer, engineer, industrial compliance...likely other entities from the government and/or municipality...lots of moving parts.

You should be aware of Asbestos abatement and concerns like underground storage tanks...which are very common in all these buildings you are referencing...design and abatement fees may run hundreds of thousands of dollars before the project even starts...

Not saying you can't pull it off, just be aware...good luck! 

Big cities are selling off school buildings as charters pull more and more kids out of the district every year. The district is left with big buildings big overhead and not enough kids to fill them. So they close and consolidate schools and sell off the building. It they are in the right neighborhoods then developers are coming in and converting these structures. Look up Bok in Philly.