Shop to Residential Conversion projects: a growing tendency

The pandemic has experienced a paradigm shift when it comes to the future of retail premises.This sector has been one of the most afflicted by the health crisis. Mobility restrictions, less pedestrian influx in streets and a downturn in tourism have worsened the situation, with an increase of empty stores in cities like Barcelona. Considering the sector was already shaken up by the surge of e-commerce, the Retail market has currently adopted a new trend: the shop to residential conversion.

The situation in the Residential market is on the verge of recovery after the crisis. With the increase of vaccination rates, it is close to recovering pre-pandemic results. In Barcelona, the problem the city is facing is the lack of quality supply second-hand homes. The city needs dwellings to rent, and this is why the conversion of shop to residential is being thought of as a good solution.

This transformation seems like an easy process, but that is not the case. In order to make a project viable, allowing it to develop and succeed, it is basic that it complies with its regulation framework. Bárbara Veciana, director of FORVI, Forcadell’s Technical Office, highlights that “in Barcelona, in order for a shop to make a legal conversion into a home dwelling, it needs to have the certificate of habitation, through a Conversion Project License”.

According to Bàrbara, “the first step consists in consulting with the city’s urban planning department to verify that the building we want to make the conversion construction works admits a home dwelling in the ground floor, and that the occupancy index of the building has not been exceeded”. A second step is the presentation of the project report of conversion from shop to residential use, with all the works that shall be undertaken included in it, as well as the certification of the compliance with the current legislation regarding accessibility, habitability, and fire safety measures.

Reforma de local a vivienda

Which are the requirements?

The basic requirements for habitability to allow conversions are: lower minimum height of 2, 5 m, a minimum of 36 effective sqm (with 40 sqm constructed), ventilation for rooms like the kitchen, the sitting room, and the main bedroom, a separate bathroom, and depending on the district, the minimum lenghth of facade metres.

Once the works are finished, a report of end-of-work is required, establishing a certificate of habitation of first occupancy, and after obtaining the license, a rectification of the data in the Land Survey, and finally, have all documents signed by a notary.

If you are interested in knowing in-depth details about about a change-in-use conversion project from shop to residential, ask for advice from our professional team at FORVI, Forcadell’s technical office.They are experts at building rehabilitations, construction and private home refurbishments.

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Cristina San José

Cristina San José

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