The pandemic has precipitated the want for many people to stay closer to home and live in more neighborhood-centric spaces. Commercial mixed-use property investors can provide this scenario to people who yearn for a small-town Main Street vibe of living.
Mixed-use commercial property can encompass any combination of retail, residential, entertainment, recreation, or park space. Once most common in cities, they are popping up more and more in suburban areas giving rise to easier access to more active lifestyles.
Consumers interested in these spaces are buying into the community feeling mixed-use buildings offer. Potential residents can imagine walking to the neighborhood cafe to get a morning coffee and chatting with fellow locals. Cup in hand, they walk back to their home office until lunch, where they then can stroll to a favorite local restaurant for a quick bite to eat or even a take business meeting. It’s only lunch, and already the workday has the potential to be significantly less stressful.
Studies show younger demographics trending toward preferring a more walkable type of living, especially with traffic ever-increasing on major roadways. Short walking distances to shops, restaurants, and parks decrease reliance on cars while contributing to overall health by promoting physical activity. Convenience to stores and other amenities are significant benefits to senior populations as well.
Commercial investors benefit from diversifying portfolios and risk with mixed-use properties. In addition, typically, mixed-use developments offer more predictable income streams as well as long-term performance. These developments also allow for the benefit of more creative financing. Business owners who rent, lease, or occupy mixed-use properties profit from an instantaneous customer base with a high potential for repeat business.
Mixed-use properties encompass new, planned developments and the repurposing of old factories, warehouses, or shopping malls. The National Association of Realtors Research Groups’ 2020 Case Studies on Repurposing Vacant Retail Malls found: “Vacant malls contribute to urban decay, declining property values, and lower tax revenues. Because of these adverse effects, it is important that vacant retail stores are repurposed for other uses.”
Repurposing such developments is environmentally beneficial by saving the already dwindling availability of open land, reducing emissions, and adding a general sense of security to all those who live and work in the area.