Multi-family apartment building under construction, with mural of an octopus and a squid on one face of the building.
This hotel in Lincoln City is undergoing conversion to a condominium building.

In recent years, there has been a growing trend towards repurposing hotels and motels into innovative spaces, breathing new life into these properties and revitalizing communities. According to a study from RentCafe.com, hotels made up almost a third of commercial space conversions into housing in 2022 and they are the fastest-growing segment of adaptive reuse projects.

Converting hotels and motels into new uses can provide any mix of the following creative transformations, depending on the market and community needs:

  • Creative Workspaces
  • Art Galleries
  • Cultural Hubs
  • Micro housing
  • Cohousing
  • Market Rate Housing
  • Employer / Workforce Housing
  • Student Housing
  • Senior Housing
  • Affordable Housing
  • Emergency Shelters
  • First Responder / Public Safety Quarters

February 2024 Oregon Legislature Approved

  • $376M investment in Emergency Housing Stabilization and Production Package
  • $131M of the Package is for housing and homelessness projects like Project Turnkey, which includes projects which buy hotels to convert into emergency housing

Source: EHSP 2024 press release

One of the most impactful uses for converted hotels and motels is addressing the pressing need for affordable housing. By repurposing these properties into residential units or supportive housing facilities, communities can provide much-needed shelter and stability for individuals and families facing homelessness or housing insecurity. This approach not only utilizes existing infrastructure but also helps alleviate the affordable housing crisis by quickly increasing the supply of available units.

In a significant stride towards addressing homelessness and housing insecurity, Oregon’s 2024 legislative session marked a pivotal moment with the allocation of additional funds towards Project Turnkey. This groundbreaking initiative aims to repurpose hotels and motels into shelters and affordable housing, providing much-needed support for individuals and families facing housing crises across the state.

With homelessness remaining a persistent challenge in Oregon, exacerbated by factors such as rising housing costs and economic disparities, the need for innovative solutions has never been more pressing. Project Turnkey represents a proactive approach that leverages existing infrastructure to create safe, stable, and supportive environments for those in need. This January 2024 ABC News report humanizes the results to date from Oregon’s Project Turnkey, which has renovated hospitality properties in 27 cities to add capacity for the State’s shelter system.

One of the key strengths of Project Turnkey lies in its adaptability and scalability. By repurposing hotels and motels, the initiative can quickly provide shelter and housing options while also offering a pathway towards permanent solutions. This approach not only addresses the immediate need for shelter but also promotes dignity, autonomy, and community integration for individuals experiencing homelessness.

The trend of converting hotels and motels into new uses represents an exciting opportunity to reimagine and reinvent underutilized spaces. Owners, developers, and stakeholders can unlock the full potential of these properties, transforming them into valuable assets that benefit both investors and communities for years to come. As we look to the future, we will continue to explore innovative ways to repurpose existing properties and infrastructure, building a more resilient, inclusive, and vibrant environment for all.

Located along the banks of Tillamook Bay along scenic Highway 101 in Garibaldi, Oregon, Old Mill RV Resort is smack dab in the center of the best fishing, crabbing, kayaking, and mountain-biking trails in the Pacific Northwest.

With its mission to elevate the campground experience, Roam America recently embarked on a visionary renovation of this iconic coastal experience. Recognizing the park’s historical significance and its role as a cherished destination for RV travelers along the Pacific Coast, Roam America chose O’Brien’s Coast Team to upgrade existing amenities and build new facilities to elevate the guest experience to new heights.

The renovation project is designed to not only modernize the park’s infrastructure, but also to honor its rich heritage and natural surroundings, crafting a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation. O’Brien’s team is on the ground now, transforming the Old Mill RV Park into a premier destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The revitalized park is on a fast-track construction schedule for new state-of-the-art amenities including upgraded camping facilities and bathrooms; a remodeled and inviting clubhouse with kitchen, dining room, lounge area and sauna; as well as enhanced landscaping and expanded outdoor recreational areas ready to enjoy starting July 1st, 2024.

Mackenzie Inc. and O’Brien are teaming up to tackle a big Design-Build housing project in Newport for Oregon State University (OSU). This new 77-unit building provides homes for students and professionals connected to the Hatfield Marine Science Center and helps to ease Newport’s housing crunch while expanding OSU’s coastal campus facilities.

Situated conveniently close to the Marine Science Center on Yaquina Bay, this housing spot is prime coastal real estate. But before construction could start, O’Brien’s team had to clear some existing small and scrubby trees from the site. It wasn’t smooth sailing though. Local mills didn’t want the trees because they thought they weren’t worth much and didn’t have the capacity to process them.

O’Brien’s team got resourceful and partnered with a habitat restoration company, Integrated Resource Management (IRC), and the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) through MidCoast Watersheds Council’s (MCWC) salvage log program. The team carefully coordinated with IRC and ODF for the tree removal process, providing over 120 trees – roots and all – from the OSU housing project site for sustainable reuse. The trees were sent to a nearby creek restoration project run by MCWC, which is a win for both the environment and the community.

MCWC has been doing this kind of restoration work for a long time – over 20 years, in fact. Their projects have used salvaged logs to spruce up streams, tidal channels, and floodplains, making life better for all sorts of species. These logs aren’t just wood; they’re homes for fish, helpers with flood control, and champions for healthy ecosystems. MCWC is always looking for like-minded volunteers and as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, donations to its efforts are tax deductible. With creative teamwork and a focus on sustainability, they’re making a difference in the Mid Coast watersheds.

And with projects like this new housing development at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center, it’s clear that taking care of the planet is a top priority for O’Brien’s team. Here’s to literally building a greener future! 🌍🏠