6 Reasons For Adaptive Reuse in Your Community

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In last week’s post we explored “What is Adaptive Reuse?” In addition to defining and describing what it is, we looked at some recent posts on Rural Resurrection about successful adaptive reuse projects in the Midwest.

This week we are continuing on with the adaptive reuse subject with a listing of the reasons for adaptive reuse in your community. Finding new uses for buildings in your community can be beneficial in a number of ways from cost to character of the neighborhood.

Red Crown Inn

Red Crown Inn – Courtesy Bill and Pam Brummer

1. Preserve the Past

Rural America is littered with beautiful old structures that deserve to be preserved. Grand structures with a story to tell. Preserving these structures preserves the past.

2. Save Time

With the building already in place, the number of steps in the entitlement process is reduced, making for a faster project. No need to deal with platting, setbacks, or other potential obstacles that take time to hurdle. You can also remove time dedicated to the demolition and construction of the new building shell. Time is money.

3. Save Money

You are no longer tearing down an existing building to obtain a good location within the community. This relieves you of the related contractor costs, fees, and disposal costs related to demolition. Also, many of the materials used in these older structures can only be had at a premium cost in today’s market.

4. Get Money

Through the rehabilitation of existing structures, property owners may be eligible for federal tax credits that help to pay for the improvements. Many states also have incentives that help make it more worthwhile to choose rehabilitation over replacement.

5. Improve the Neighborhood

One of the main reasons that communities seek out CDBG grants for housing owner-occupied housing repairs in a run-down neighborhood is that it is well known that neighbors often improve their own properties once a rehabilitation project is complete. With adaptive reuse, the same thing is often true in commercial and industrial areas elsewhere in the community as well.

6. Retain Neighborhood Character

Utilizing adaptive reuse to bring an existing building back to life can save the look and feel of the neighborhood that the building lies within. Imagine the subject building not being rehabbed and then torn down to allow for the construction of a McDonald’s in your downtown. Sure, that may be an extreme and unlikely event in your community, but similar redevelopments have happened elsewhere. Think about how that would impact the look and feel of your downtown.


When adaptive reuse is done right the benefits to the building and the community are numerous. Keep the concept in mind with your community.