As companies shift towards a remote and hybrid work model, office spaces are no longer in demand. Because of this, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer released a budget proposal that includes a one-time $40 million grant program to help communities transform vacant offices into new uses.
According to most real estate experts, the office square footage needs are significantly reducing as most companies embrace hybrid workspaces. Likely, there will be more empty office buildings or companies cutting the real estate expenses by opting for a smaller place.
$40M Program to Help Communities Transform Empty Office Spaces
The new budget proposal aims to transform office spaces into new uses for the community. According to the director of state and federal affairs for the Michigan Municipal League, John LaMacchia II:
“It’s the recognition of what both the pandemic has had on communities and then what the future impact is going to be on those communities from the standpoint of remote work,” LaMacchia said. “It’s finding ways to help address those issues and stick to that investment mentality and things that matter to our members.”
The Michigan Municipal League supports the proposed program, requiring legislative approval. Eligible local government units across the state could apply for funding up to $5 million under the transition support grant program.
The program grants could support activities such as rehabilitating vacant buildings, demolishing structures, and programs to support existing businesses and incubators.