Uncommon Types of CRE

Unusual Types of Commercial Real Estate - Brick and Mortar Academy

Uncommon Types of Commercial Real Estate: Exploring Unique Investment Opportunities


When it comes to commercial real estate, many investors are familiar with common property types such as office buildings, retail spaces, and industrial warehouses. However, there are several uncommon types of commercial real estate that offer unique investment opportunities. In this section, we will explore some of these lesser-known property types, expanding your knowledge and opening doors to new possibilities.

Data Centers

Data centers are specialized facilities designed to house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems. As the demand for digital infrastructure continues to grow, data centers have become an increasingly attractive investment option. Investing in data centers can provide steady rental income from technology companies and organizations that rely on secure and reliable data storage.

Self-Storage Facilities

Self-storage facilities are properties that provide storage units for individuals and businesses to store their belongings. These facilities are in high demand, offering convenience and flexibility to tenants. Self-storage investments can be lucrative, with a relatively low maintenance requirement compared to other commercial real estate types. Additionally, they are often recession-resistant, as people require storage space regardless of economic conditions.

Medical Office Buildings

Medical office buildings are commercial properties specifically designed to house medical practices, clinics, and healthcare-related businesses. These buildings cater to the unique needs of the healthcare industry, offering specialized infrastructure, such as examination rooms and medical equipment storage. Investing in medical office buildings can be appealing due to the stable demand for healthcare services and the potential for long-term leases with healthcare providers.

Senior Housing

Senior housing encompasses properties designed for older adults who require various levels of assistance and care. This can include independent living communities, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes. With an aging population, the demand for senior housing is expected to increase significantly. Investing in senior housing allows you to contribute to meeting the needs of this demographic while potentially benefiting from stable rental income and long-term growth.

Parking Facilities

Parking facilities, such as parking garages or lots, provide space for vehicles to park on a short-term or long-term basis. These properties can be located in busy urban areas, near airports, or close to event venues. While parking facilities may not be the first type of commercial real estate that comes to mind, they can offer a steady stream of income with relatively low maintenance costs. Additionally, they can benefit from proximity to high-traffic areas and the potential for increased demand over time.

Mixed-Use Developments

Mixed-use developments combine multiple types of properties within a single project, typically including a combination of residential, commercial, and retail spaces. These developments aim to create vibrant communities where people can live, work, and play in close proximity. Investing in mixed-use developments allows you to tap into diverse revenue streams and take advantage of the synergies between different property types. They often attract a wide range of tenants and offer opportunities for long-term growth.


While common property types like office buildings and retail spaces dominate the commercial real estate market, there are several uncommon types that present unique investment opportunities. Data centers, self-storage facilities, medical office buildings, senior housing, parking facilities, and mixed-use developments offer different avenues for diversifying your portfolio and capitalizing on emerging trends. As you explore these lesser-known property types, conduct thorough market research, consider location-specific factors, and evaluate the potential risks and rewards. By venturing into the realm of uncommon commercial real estate, you may discover untapped potential and find new avenues for success in your investment journey.

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