Walkability, vibrancy, community, all traits of mixed-use developments that have been called a trend to watch in 2014, as the demand to live, work, and play in one location continues to grow at remarkable rates. Consumer and tenant interests are transitioning from the hustle and bustle of large urban areas to small town, niche environments. A large portion of this increasing demand is driven by the young adults making up Generation Y who are graduating or still in school and want to live close to where they work and play. Others who desire more variety within their community and who are not ready to settle down in suburban neighborhoods support their demands.
Current and future mixed-use developments vary in their purpose, function and offerings and include a wide mix of alternative destination styles and features. The following are some of the most popular trends for 2014.
An environment that is pedestrian friendly, designed similarly to a town square or a city strip. Scottsdale Waterfront, a thriving mixed-use development in Scottsdale, AZ created a property consisting of two 13-story condominium towers called the Waterfront Residences, connected by adjoining office spaces, restaurants and retail establishments. The design by Opus West creates the perfect live, work and play atmosphere, giving residents and consumers alike the feeling of ultimate luxury and convenience, all within a short walk.
Upscale lifestyle boutiques and nationally recognized “healthy” retailers, restaurants and grocers, such as Lululemon and Whole Foods are moving out of strip malls and into mixed-use developments. These health conscious retailers have done exceptionally well since the recession and are attracting a younger, more affluent crowd. Successful developments include at least an “anchor” grocery store, health club, farm-to-table restaurant and a few lifestyle boutiques. This rising trend leads to the overall appeal of the property by fulfilling active lifestyle needs.
Entertainment venues such as dine-in theaters, microbreweries, and outdoor amphitheaters are thriving in mixed-use developments. They are as appealing to residents and tenants as they are to neighboring communities and serve as a place to meet and mingle. In additional to adding to the social interest of the developments, these venues are driving incredible amounts of traffic to surrounding retailers.
When hotels collaborate with retail and mixed-use developments, they experience increased market share, potentially 20%-40% sales increases, reports Global Hospitality. And hotels in these developments can demand 30%-40% rate increases per room compared to hotels not associated with or located within a property that offers variety and convenience for shopping and eating.
Consumers and tenants alike agree that the proximity to public transportation is a huge benefactor in the decision to move into a mixed-use development. MultiHousing News reported in their Apartment Market Statistics that the majority of people would rather live in a smaller home with a smaller commute over a bigger home with a longer commute. Location continues to be key.
Now more than ever consumers desire a connection to their neighborhood and mixed-use developments are providing the solution.
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