We’re scrambling for space—and it’s an issue encountered by most cities around the world. The solution? To redevelop existing sites, especially historical ones. There are a host of added benefits too. “It’s greener, cleaner and you’re reducing your carbon footprint,” says Richard G. Baumert, partner at Millennium Partners, a US-based developer that has created residences for the likes of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and The Ritz- Carlton, and that is now branching out into building its own-branded residences.
For this—and many other reasons—buyers in the residential market find heritage properties appealing. “The discerning purchaser appreciates high-quality design, both in the original building, and what a team of experts can bring to the project to enhance and exploit these characteristics,” says Charlie Rosier, director at Blackfish, a Hong Kong-based boutique property agency working on global real estate. “In the right location, these combine to offer them something that many modern developments cannot—that is, exclusivity and quality, which will lead to higher returns for the developer and also the investor.”
Of course, there are questions to consider: how do you modernise while maintaining the structure’s historical features? “Modern energy is also a concern—how do you heat and cool the place?” asks Baumert. There are many different ways to rejuvenating buildings, but in each case, it’s a fine balance. Here is a look at some of the different developments underway in key international cities.