Posted on May 15, 2019
Mixed-use developments integrate residential, commercial and industrial real estate into a single, compact site. Here, residents can walk to work, markets, restaurants and entertainment. Mixed-use developments saw their heyday in the U.S. prior to World War II. But then, along came America’s love affair with the automobile and larger, affordable housing in the suburbs.
The automotive industry enjoyed an explosion in sales and production following World War II. With this boom came widespread urban sprawl. Long, comfortable highway commutes to the office in the privacy of your own Ford Fairlane 500 became a reality for many. Indeed, there were countless numbers who traded their small inner-city dwellings for larger, affordable housing further from the office.
Now, spurred on by population increases and congested roads, some Americans are reversing the nearly century-long trend of settling in suburban neighborhoods far away from the workplace. Some are choosing to move back into inner-city dwellings. Mixed-use developments have seen a steady resurgence since the 1990s, and these modern versions are providing a myriad of benefits—for residents, employers and employees alike.
Are there disadvantages to mixed-use developments? Like anything, great benefits don’t come without challenges. Mixed-use properties can be more difficult to build because financiers need to evaluate the uses separately. Zoning and building permits can be tricky, depending on the location. And the marketing for residential, commercial and industrial options can be more difficult than a single-use project for the developer.
But it’s easy to see the beneficial aspects of mixed-use developments. Employee-residents save time and stress on long commutes. Don’t forget that long commutes can have detrimental effects on employees. Local governments see higher returns from property and sales taxes in these neighborhoods. And developers disperse risk across several markets when building a mixed-use project.
Chris Falk has the experience to help with any commercial real estate question, including those concerning mixed-use properties. Contact him for any of your commercial real estate needs at (801) 416-1024 or firstname.lastname@example.org.