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(Multi)family matters: Navigating the intricacies of incorporating multifamily into mixed-use developments

  • MAY 03, 2017
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In an article published in Midwest Real Estate News, M+A's Lori Bongiorno and Don Brogan discuss how successfully blending multifamily in a commercial environment alongside restaurants and retail components can take a development to the proverbial next level. However, understanding how to pull that off can be easier said than done. Navigating the intricacies of seamlessly incorporating multi-family into mixed use developments requires a nuanced understanding of everything from building code compliance to retail tenant expectations, successful balancing a wide range of design, demographic and functionality considerations. 


The big picture is a big deal: figuring out how to incorporate residential components in a way that adds value to the project without taking away valuable retail space.


Among the most important factors to consider when incorporating multifamily elements into mixed-use developments are the essentials: logistics and technical considerations. If your project doesn’t work, it does not matter how good it looks or how many units you can rent in the first year.


While parking certainly falls into the logistics category, it is such an important and complex topic when it comes to integrating different uses within a mixed-use project that it deserves its own discussion. Reserved, covered, residents-only parking is key, but delivering that can present a logistical/design challenge.


From a design standpoint, all components need to be designed and built to the same high standards and design criteria. Developers need to recognize that the mixed-use development itself is one of the most powerful and appealing amenities, and should design with that in mind.


While owner preference, demographic studies, space constraints and other factors all play a role in determining what makes sense in terms of unit count and unit mix, the character of the residential component can and should vary based on who you are building for.


Strategies continue to evolve for introducing multifamily amenities into residential areas in mixed-use projects. The initial instinct on the part of the developer may be to pack in as many luxury amenities, as possible.


Finally, recognize that leasing agents and retailers are going to have very different priorities from those folks managing the residential component. One of the little-discussed secrets of mixed-use development is that most projects that bill themselves as mixed-use really do “lean” one way or the other.

To learn more about navigating the intricacies of incorporating multifamily into mixed-use developments, read the full article here.

Source: "(Multi)family matters: Navigating the intricacies of incorporating multifamily into mixed-use developments" by Midwest Real Estate News

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