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What are Mixed Use Properties?

What are Mixed Use Properties?

Mixed-use commercial property is either a building or a land development that includes both residential and commercial space. For example, a structure that has office space on the ground floor and apartment units on the top floor would be considered mixed-use residential or mixed-use office space.

As is familiar with most mixed-use properties, the residential portion takes up more square footage than the commercial share. For tenants, mixed-use space is commonly referred to as a live-work space.

Mixed-use commercial real estate has also become a central piece of urban development planning. Developers may combine residential, commercial, cultural, institutional, and even entertainment functions to create a fully-blended multi-use setting. 

Or, entities can be disconnected entirely, yet co-exist on the same parcel of land. Commercial real estate development within the mixed-use sector can take up a single building or span an entire city block or neighborhood. Planners can create a theme within a multi-use structure, in which all residents and business owners share an everyday lifestyle, economic status, or cultural vision. 

As an area becomes more populated and industrialized, mixed-use property for sale becomes more valuable and creates a more efficient ecosystem among all inhabitants.  When carefully planned and executed well, these properties can incorporate various types of functions that complement each other.

The 7 Varieties of Mixed-Use Commercial Property

Zoning, which are the laws governing how land will be used, has created more opportunities for mixed-use properties. These laws essentially give permission for commercial properties to exist and sell in otherwise residential areas. We won’t get into the details of how municipalities determine what land use is permitted or prohibited; however, it is evident that local governments are following cultural trends and loosening the separation of residential and commercial developments. The prevailing theory by developers is that residents will enjoy more convenient access to the products and services they use every day.

So, let’s dive into the different forms that mixed-use property can take in the real world:

Main Street

The residential–commercial mix central to a town’s center may be the oldest mixed-use real estate model in existence. The “Main Street” model stretches back at least two centuries to Victorian-era Great Britain and has become a mainstay in American life almost from the country’s inception. Main Street mixed-use property for sale typically includes two- to three-story buildings with residential units within the top floors and commercial units on the ground floor — all facing the main street, of course!

Live + Work

Small businesses are the lifeblood of communities throughout the US and central to the growth of mixed-use properties. An archetypal “live + work” mixed-use space includes residents living in the same building where they operate their small business. Living spaces may be above, behind, or alongside the commercial space. For instance, a photographer or artist’s loft might be a bedroom over a studio. In some cases, business partners may live adjacent to one another in multiple units above their business on the ground level.

Compact Office Space with Amenities

The desire to “live where you work” is rising with each subsequent generation entering the workforce. Therefore, the growth of small office units within mixed-use residential communities is unparalleled. These multi-floor commercial structures feature small retail and professional service companies with office floor plans that cater to businesses with a small footprint.

Office + Residential

Not uncommon in major metropolitan areas across the country, a combination of office and residential units are now found in many suburban areas as well. Mixed-use office space is primarily a commercial structure with multi-residential family units co-existing in the same building.

Shopping Mall Conversion

Online shopping has led to an inevitable decline in shopping malls. For creative developers, repurposing these vacated shopping malls showcases an incredible push toward innovation. As a result, shopping malls now have new life as a mixed-use commercial property with residential units included. Throw in some office units and shopping mall conversions perfectly capture the live-work-play culture.

Retail District Retrofit

After years of neglect, decline, and outright abandonment, downtown and suburban retail areas are experiencing a renaissance. No matter if you live in a small, medium, or large US city, these areas are seeing a shift from commercial-only to commercial and residential. 

Mixed-Use Hotels

One of the latest trends in mixed-use property for sale is within the hotel sector. Hoteliers continue to find innovative ways to attract new clients while enhancing their profitability. As such, today’s mixed-use hotels often combine hotel rooms and condos and/or retail space. Some properties even feature some level of office space or co-working facilities, thus perfectly showcasing the live-work-play model.

Each new type of mixed-use property offers a fresh and unconventional look at how we use space. While many of these mixed-use property types seem to blend, there’s no doubt that developers will continue to push the boundaries (or maybe reel them in).

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