Going green and living a more sustainable life is affecting companies and individuals alike. And the easiest way for corporate America to make a difference is by upcycling and repurposing its buildings. These days, converting buildings is the latest trend and is actually pretty impressive. We’re talking about transformations that change churches to gyms and car washes to fast food chains. Now that’s called thinking outside of the box.
Whether it’s done deliberately or not, we’re finding that the new owners are recycling as much as they can from their previous tenants. Letters from old signs, some of the same logos, and even the exact same iconic structures that make these places landmarks have been left untouched. We promise, once you see what these places have morphed into, you’ll be laughing for days.
Hollister Store Turned Bookstore
Certain fads may come and go, and boy oh boy, are we happy that angsty teens are no longer wearing the polos and miniskirts sold at Hollister & Co. While we might be thrilled that this store can now be tucked away in our past, there were too many of these empty stores left behind – most likely to haunt us. But have no fear, one company got creative with transforming the space of what once was a staple in every teen’s wardrobe.
From fashion statements to selling fiction novels, one Hollister retail store was turned into a bookstore. We honestly can’t believe our eyes. What would use to reel in children on a daily basis would now probably have these kids running for the hills. Besides, there’s no way anyone could actually read in there since we’re sure the dim lighting was probably never fixed.
Chinese Restaurant Turned Retirement Home
If they say “home is where the heart is,” then someone’s home can be just about anywhere. Without limiting oneself to a specific neighborhood or city – a home can be found in the unlikeliest of places. And the Lakeview Funeral Home is a prime example, as this home was birthed from the original roots of a former Chinese restaurant.
From dumplings to death, this place has truly seen it all. This funeral home decided to stick with the original design of the entrance to the facility, giving some cultural flair to the theme of being deceased. Not that the subject of dying is a joking matter, but we can’t help but laugh so hard until we cry from looking at this eyesore.
Church Turned Dollar Tree
Nothing is considered more sacred than a house of prayer – a Church is a prime example. But what happens to a religious place once its purpose has been served? Well, apparently, there’s no more of a suitable solution for repurposing such a place than to make it even holier than it was before. Transforming it into the home of a top-notch Dollar Tree.
Can we get an amen? Honestly, this is probably the most upscale bargain store we’ve ever seen. With a beautiful brick exterior and a quite spacious interior, we’re almost sure this location is probably the top seller amongst its competing locations. If we lived in the same city as this establishment, we would probably frequent this Dollar Tree regularly and just for fun.
A Private Home Turned Burger King
There’s nothing that screams home-cooked meal and comfort like your average residence in suburbia. Burger King decided to become opportunists with this concept when they realized the perfect corner home was put on the market. Therefore, the picture below is no photo-shopped image – there is actually a Burger King that took over a private home.
If Burger King provides the breakfast of champions, serving it up from this quaint brick house makes it that much more believable. The outside is already so inviting; we can only imagine that the inside gives you all the cozy vibes that would make you want to stay and eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner there.
Bank Turned CVS Pharmacy
The architecture on this previous bank is absolutely breathtaking. Clearly, it was designed with style in mind. So, after all the money was cleared out and the accounts were closed, the top suiters who felt it was essential to take over this building, was none other than the major American drug store – CVS Pharmacy.
Yup, this exquisite piece of slab is now your local corner store pharmacy. Does this mean that all of the prescription medication is stored in the old vault? At least you can now feel classy when buying holiday candy on sale. While the rent must be astronomical, we’re guessing the prime location is worth every penny these renters are forking out.
Gas Station Turned Subway Franchise
You might want to slow your roll as you cruise by this establishment in Gypsum, Colorado. First of all, don’t let the structure fool you. While it may look like a gas station belongs here, there’s no place for you to fill up your vehicle. What used to be a fuel stop was remodeled to be none other than another location for the Subway fast-food chain.
Whoever is in charge of real estate for the Subway franchise either has no clue what they’re doing or really thought this would be a great way to attract customers. Instead of stopping for gas – something that is considered necessary for traveling from one place to another – it was a better idea to install a sandwich stand? As weird as it is, the outdoor seating with the wooden accents is a nice touch. Now that’s an upgraded sub shop.
Former Movie Theater Turned Library
You’ve seen the movie, and now you can read the book – all in the same place! Weirdly enough, this former movie theater was changed into a public library, and we’re not mad about it. But we do have some questions and suggestions regarding this repurposed project.
While you can never have too many libraries, we can only hope that the interior designer replaced the lighting design inside; otherwise, it might be a super dark place to read. But on the one hand, for logistical purposes, the ticket booth could always be used to drop books off after hours. This way, no one will ever have to worry about a late fee again! Now all of this is something that just makes sense.
Hot Topic Retail Store Turned Veterans Museum
For countless years, the goth store Hot Topic gathered major foot traffic in every mall across America. Like a mecca for angsty teenagers, this retail shop sold every t-shirt and piece of merchandise that any kid who identified to be “scene” would ever want. But like most trends, this phase came to an end, marking the tragic closing of the brand. Usually, another store would fill the emptiness of what used to be, but not for this space found in Denton, Texas.
Instead of putting a different clothing store, or even just another store in general – a more profound and meaningful place now absorbed what used to be a Hot Topic. The Texas Veterans Hall of Fame Museum is now the new tenant of what used to be the hottest commodity in the mall. Some would say they can hear “Pierce the Veil” playing quietly from time to time – but that’s just the ghost of their former renter’s past.
KFC Turned Thai Restaurant
From Kentucky Fried Chicken to kung fu chicken, we’re pretty sure no matter what this building evolves into, you’ll still find some chicken lying around. As sad as the locals might have been to bid a farewell to their neighborhood KFC, at least the newbies that took over recycled the same color scheme and design from the old restaurant. So in a way, the memory of KFC can live on.
Morphing from one unhealthy, fast-food chain to another greasy restaurant, at least the place is still serving its original purpose – to provide tasty, tragic food to all that stop by. As confusing as this may be, at least they took down the face of Colonel Sanders. Because if they tried to absorb him into being the face of their own food – then the world will have a big problem.
A DC Movie Theater Turned Into a CVS Pharmacy
The film stopped rolling, and the smell of burnt popcorn will no longer linger in what used to be a local DC movie theater. Whatever the reason may have been, there’s no way it was good enough to close down a perfectly good place of entertainment to make room for yet another CVS. It’s like this store is taking over every corner of every city in every state!
Some city members say that this repurposing of the building shows major class, while others would do anything to have their local movie theater back in action. Does this mean that instead of having a drive-thru to pick up prescription medication, that the ticketing booth is yet another counter for customers to wait at? If you get a chance to stop by, let us know.
Church Turned Gym
No need to put on your Sunday’s best anymore if you’re headed to this church. What used to be a place of prayer has switched roles into a much more casual setting. So feel free to show up in your favorite Lululemon athleisure paired with your favorite Nike sneakers because now – you get the ultimate workout in the holiest of places.
For one reason or another, this church had to head into early retirement. Leaving a huge facility with incredibly tall ceilings completely vacant. If it weren’t for this picture, it would be hard to imagine a church with workout equipment replacing pews and an alter. But the muscle heads that now get to call this place their gym can say that they easily get toned in one of the coolest environments. Now working out can be a religious experience. Hallelujah!
Hockey Arena Turned Grocery Store
Picture this: you’re on aisle seven at the supermarket, and the store is about to close. Instead of having the cashier hop on the loudspeaker, a bright red clock quickly starts to pass by, accompanied by a loud buzzer, and store clerks are screaming at the top of their lungs. Well as crazy and fun as the whole scenario is, that’s not exactly what plays out at this hockey arena that somehow became a grocery store.
In reality, this upcycling project makes complete sense. When you think of a Costco, Super Target, or any other major shopping market, they’re all incredibly huge. And a hockey arena, while it can hold a competitive sport and tons of people, also has plenty of room for all the household supplies and food one could need. Now the scoreboard is a bit irrelevant, but it must have cost more to remove it than to let it remain as is. Let the games begin!
Walmart Turned Local College
Attention all shoppers, this Walmart will no longer be serving you indefinitely. Sadly, what used to welcome guests with friendly smiles and incredibly low prices, closed its doors to make way to educate the future generations. Turns out, some people would rather spend all their money on college instead of everyday items at Walmart.
Surprisingly enough, this concept is more common than you think. Not only are these former shopping marts large enough to hold everything a college would require, but the parking lots are spacious enough to fit all the students, faculty, and staff. We only hope that a few snacks were left behind for the poor college students to munch on.
Gas Station Turned Into a Boost Mobile
Located in North Carolina, if you’re looking for gas, you might want to do a double-take before stopping at this highway location. What literally still looks like an active gas station is anything but that. Of all things, instead of keeping it as a place to fill your car up, this gas station is now a Boost Mobile store. Because you never know when you’ll need to purchase a new phone plan immediately?
Nothing about this makes sense to us. Especially because, under usual circumstances, Boost Mobile stores can be found in any shopping plaza or even a stand-alone counter in a mall. This is something our eyes just can’t peel away from. And we can’t help but let out a laugh the longer we look at it.
A Hollywood Video Store Turned Into a Bar
Before online streaming services like Netflix ever existed, it was up to the ole faithful home video rental shops to provide us with weekly entertainment of our favorite films. Hollywood Video, also known as Blockbuster’s biggest competitors, could be found on every street corner no matter where you turned. So after this industry plummeted, businesses everywhere began transforming these old video stores into anything but a place to shop.
For example, this former Hollywood Video store was repurposed into a neighborhood bar and grill. The worst part is that the new owners lacked any form of creativity and even held onto the remnants of the old sign so that the establishment could be called Big Woody’s Sports Bar and Grill. Do you think it’s charming or cheap?
Walgreens Turned Sketchers Outlet
Shockingly, this image shows the opposite of what usually happens. More often than not, we’ve seen various businesses and stores transform into another chain pharmacy store. But here, this Walgreens was actually closed down to make way for a Sketchers Outlet. This is still unusual because we didn’t even realize there was such a demand for Sketchers sneakers these days…
Well, apparently, there is. Considering the size of this old Walgreens, there must be a lot of shoes on sale behind those doors. So if you’re driving through Houston, Texas, keep your eyes peeled for the best discount on shoes there is. And if you’re looking for a Walgreens, keep driving; we’re sure you’ll see one soon enough.
A Bank Turned Into a McDonald’s
Is this the largest McDonald’s in the world? Nope, but it’s a big one, alright. This former bank is now known as the most unordinary McDonald’s ever. If you look close enough, you can see that the best part about this building is that it allows for an extra-large and tall play place for the kids to romp around in. Where was this when we were kids?!
This must be one popular spot, or either the McDonald’s R&D team felt it was imperative to have an operation at this size. With plenty of space for a large counter and a copious amount of tables for all the hungry diners, it’s easy to say that this fast food joint could actually be considered a sit-down restaurant. But we’re sure that in order to take the strictest security measures, all Happy Meals and chicken nuggets have got to be stowed away in the vault.
Paint Store Turned DVD Shop
Whether this was your local Ace Hardware or just another home goods type of place – it’s obvious to see that if anything was sold here before movies, it was cans of paint. But with the latest trend we’ve seen with upcycled buildings, it seems that the new owners just couldn’t quite demolish all of the old remnants from the previous store.
While this may now be a DVD rental store, the new owners had to get a little creative when re-doing the building’s exterior. Instead of removing the paint cans bolted to the rooftop, they decided to utilize this to express overflowing options of items that can be found right inside. How creative.
Blockbuster Turned Orthodontist Office
Once the world of Blockbuster had passed away, it was time for everyone to shift their gears into turning these establishments into places that will really do good in the world. And nothing says making a change, like changing this old Blockbuster into an orthodontist’s office. Just trying to fix one crooked smile at a time, wherever, whenever.
Who could’ve guessed that getting braces needed such prominent advertising? The orthodontist’s office may be new in town, but it’s clear to see that this old Blockbuster sign wasn’t. What are the chances that they can straighten teeth better than their signage?
Church Turned Grocery Store
When the churches don’t get enough people to attend services, push comes to shove, forcing these beautiful buildings to be turned into something else. Well, now, at this specific location, you can buy your holy water for $3.99 on aisle eight. Conveniently located next to the crackers for communion.
Thanks to Tesco Express, this church has been transformed into the local mini-mart. The occasional shopper might stop in for a prayer or two, trying to get the best of both worlds. Now, purchasing your favorite snacks is a holy experience.
Woolworth’s Turned Walgreens
What was founded as F.W. Woolworth Company in the early 1900s became known as the pioneer of the five-and-dime store. While it’s been known as an established brand, it faced plenty of competition over the years that has consistently become more popular. One of these competitors being Walgreens.
And not only is Walgreens one of Woolworth’s fiercest competitors, but the chain even had the audacity to stomp all over what used to be the rightful home of this former Woolworth’s. This Walgreens couldn’t even show common courtesy from removing the signature “W” emblem of the Woolworth’s brand off the building and instead kept it – as if it would somehow ever represent Walgreens. How rude.
Taco Bell Turned Law Office
Dear Peter Francis, why would you ever think anyone would take your law practice seriously if you’re running it out of a former Taco Bell? We guessed when the constitution guaranteed a speedy trial, it really meant with drive-thru service. Now that’s the kind of attention these legal cases need.
The kitchen had to have left some supplies behind; this way, the lawyer can either offer Tort law or tortillas. And if they win your case, free tacos on the house! This must be situated in the heart of a place with high crime and big appetites. Oh, the jokes are endless when it comes to this photo, and we just can’t stop laughing.
Hollywood Video Store Turned Smoke Shop
And yet again, another epic transformation for a Hollywood Video store, or should we say lack of. What once was Hollywood Videos is now also Hollywood Smokin’. How is it that the smoke shop has no problem investing in an additional sign for the “smokin” element but couldn’t find the authenticity to develop a better first part of the name?
Never could we ever have imagined that of all things, a Hollywood video store would actually become a smokeshop. And that the store would still use the same name. If you’re not cracking up hysterically from looking at this picture or driving by this place, then you just don’t get it.
KFC Turned Mexican Restaurant
Looking at this picture, is there anything you can’t quite understand? It might be because our beloved Colonel Sanders from KFC is disguised. Yup, this KFC was turned into a Mexican restaurant. Say goodbye to Colonel Sanders and hola to Colonel Sanchez.
Located in Maiden, North Carolina, you’re able to witness this hysterical graphic design edit at the former KFC’s resting place. They may have changed the menu and the restaurant’s name, but the spirit of Colonel Saunders lives on. Maybe this will inspire the KFC franchise to spice up their menu a little bit.
Gas Station Turned Domino’s Pizza
Everything about the structure of this place screams a former gas station. It’s undeniable. So how could anyone ever think that a good substitute for a gas station would be a Domino’s Pizza? Sure, people love fast food in convenient locations – but something about this whole concept seems gross.
There’s already enough criticism towards gas station food – rightfully so. So wouldn’t people be extra critical about pizza that was made in a former gas station? Domino’s might be a significant pizza chain, but it’s easy to say that this was not their smartest move. It may look cool, but that’s about it.
Bank Turned Wendy’s
Since banks are already built with a drive-thru window, there’s only one thing that these buildings could be repurposed for. And this Wendy’s was smart enough to claim the nicest spot in town. Hitting the jackpot, this Wendy’s took over what used to be a local bank, and the frosty’s taste just as good as ever.
How cool would it be if all the food was shuttled through the tube system that used to send money and checks back and forth from the bank to the customers? That’s one way to not only socially distance, but to get your food in style. And while this Wendy’s may not see as much money as the bank used to, this is one transformation we applaud.
Sonic Drive-in Turned Little Caesar’s Pizza
Remember the good ole days when drive-ins were found in every small town, and it was customary for someone to serve your food on roller skates? While we still appreciate that retro flare that Sonic tries to maintain, somehow, this Sonic lost a real estate battle to a Little Caesar’s Pizza.
Sonic tastes good any day of the week, and Little Caesar’s only tastes good if you’re in the mood for bad pizza. Their servers don’t wear roller skates, and you have to go inside the building to place your order. It’s impossible to ever look at this pizza place with respect, knowing it took the home of a beloved Sonic. Rest in peace.
Pizza Hut Turned Five Guys
What’s known as a tale as old as time is knowing that if you see a red roof while driving down the street then, of course, you’re driving by a Pizza Hut. How else would we be able to recognize our favorite pizza fast-food chain? Weirdly enough, this former Pizza hut is now a Five Guys. And if it weren’t for the lettering, we would still expect a slice of pizza upon arrival.
Based in Westminister, Maryland – someone clearly forgot to tell Five Guys to amp up their game. If you’re going to take over a Pizza Hut building, you can’t still have your restaurant also look like the Pizza Hut building. The red roof is iconic, and not acknowledging that during the handover of the keys is just silly.
Quiznos Turned Into an off-Brand Sandwich Shop
Is it genius or effortless? Or both? What once was a Quiznos sandwich shop had come to a close. And while the owners were sad to say farewell to their franchise, they just couldn’t let go of the idea of having a sandwich shop no longer be in this space. Behold, the birth of Suzi Q Sub.
Turns out Quiznos was quite the pyramid scheme. But the owners had become so accustomed to running a sub shop, they just couldn’t fathom not having one there anymore. So with a bit of a twist on the name, they made their own sandwich place. We wonder if anyone even recognized the change?