Industrial Revolution: 5 Uses For A Former Factory

There is no denying that the business world is now shifting towards the service industry. With manufacturing mostly taking place in other parts of the world due to cost, there are lots of empty factories lying abandoned. As part of many urban regeneration programs, those disused factories are getting converted for different uses. Some of those conversions, of course, are into usable living spaces.

But, there are all kinds of new uses that many former factories are now seeing. Are you the owner of a facility that no longer produces anything? Perhaps you’ve been offered a factory building at an attractive price? In today’s blog post, I’m going to share with you five ways that you can make an old factory useful again!

1. Shopping Mall

You might not think it, but an old factory can provide the perfect space to build a shopping mall! Plants usually come with acres of land that one can convert into parking lots or outdoor spaces for restaurants. Meanwhile, the interior of a factory can get divided up into spaces for small or large stores to occupy.

The factory could even preserve some of its previous architecture to add to the rustic or industrial feel of the design.

2. Music Studios

Another advantage of a building with a large amount of space is that it can offer brilliant acoustic properties! Many of today’s music studios are purpose-built, but more are getting converted from former industrial or commercial buildings.

An old factory can provide the perfect creative setting for professional music studios. If the factory is big enough, it could even offer other facilities such as CD or vinyl production, and office space for studio employees. One example of a factory turned music studio is the Old Chocolate Factory in Chicago, a building formerly occupied by Nestle. Take a look at the pictures over at!

3. Office Building

Factories are often converted into usable office spaces, especially if they are located in the heart of major towns and cities. Some architects even stick to the industrial theme by installing shipping containers in the factories for use as meeting rooms or private offices.

office building

Image Obtained From Flickr

Factories are also an ideal setting for open-plan office workspaces. If you look at sites such as, you can gain inspiration for the interior design of such a conversion!

4. Data Center

Many organizations have a need to store big data in “the cloud” and off-site from their premises. Nondescript buildings such as old factories provide an ideal location to set up data centers! Of course, improvements must be made to upgrade wiring and security in the building.

However, the vast space and generally cooler temperatures are ideal conditions to store a farm of server, networking, and other electrical equipment! Apart from factories, data centers get set up in places like old nuclear bunkers and even underground caves!

5. Paintball Venue

If you’re thinking of a low-cost way to convert your factory into something profitable, have you considered the concept of a paintball venue? You could even keep the graffiti on the walls for added ambiance to the environment!


Image by Kameraad Pjotr at Dutch Wikipedia (Transferred from nl.wikipedia to Commons.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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