Jeffrey Mohlman has always been fascinated by large scale recycling. While he values the importance of people separating their trash, reusing what they can, and driving ecofriendly vehicles, he is more interested in the big things. More specifically, he is interested in what is known as “adaptive reuse”. In fact, Mohlman believes there is also a lot of capital to be found in this, which is evident from the fact that various securities firms are now looking into it.
Jeffrey Mohlman on Adaptive Reuse
There is no one set definition for adaptive reuse, but it does always mean that an old building or shipping container is brought back to life by using it for other things. For instance, containers and old school buildings can become homes, warehouses can become art centers, factories can become offices, and so on. Essentially, it is about recycling an old building or construction into something completely new. Businesses like Questar have been quite interested in it and, leading up to May, there have been some amazing project completions.
It is important to understand, however, that adaptive reuse is not the same as a renovation. While both talk about transforming a building, adaptive reuse is about finding a brand new purpose for it. Doing so breathes new life into the construction but also transforms the neighborhood in which it is found. It also enables city developers to create bigger and better things, transforming abandoned, dilapidated locations into the place to be.
Examples of Adaptive Reuse
Adaptive reuse is hugely creative and it is now seen in cities all over the country. The following examples show just how diverse architecture can be with a little bit of creative thinking, and how big of an impact it can have on the community as a whole.
- Detroit’s Foundation Hotel. This is a boutique hotel that is found in what used to be the headquarters of the Detroit Fire Department.
- Austin, TX Seaholm District, which used to be an electrical power plant and now houses a hotel, library, restaurants, retail properties, offices, and residential units.
- Providence, RI’s Steel Yard, which used to be an iron and steel plant. The metal buildings, rough brick, and even the old cranes were transformed and now form an “urban wild” art community.
- NYC’s Concrete Plant Park, which used to be a concrete plant that was abandoned in 1987. It has now been turned into a public park, with much of the concrete remnants reused and turned into chess tables, seats, and more.
- Washington D.C.’s Wonder Bread Factory, which was the company’s main factory. For 20 years, the structure stood vacant but, in 2013, it was converted into a loft-style office complex spanning all four stores. The style of the building was mainly preserved.
These are just five examples of what can be done with that what is no longer used. According to Jeffrey Mohlman, making more investments in adaptive reuse is the way of the future and could be a very lucrative idea, while at the same time improving communities.