Mixed-Use Developments: The New ‘Norm’?

Retail schemes are looking to diversify the tenant mix with offices, leisure, entertainment, F&B and residential units, to create a place for people to live, shop, work and play.

These mixed-use developments are destinations for consumers to enjoy an experience. Due to the diversity of the offering, footfall and dwell time naturally increase, making units much more appealing to potential tenants. Although investment is needed to develop existing shopping centres, a mixed-use scheme can have a significant positive impact on the wider community and stakeholders.

There has been a swift rise in mixed-use transformations with some examples including:

  • Hammerson has released the vision for the regeneration of Martineau Galleries in Birmingham City Centre as part of its ‘City Quarters’ concept. The proposals include 1,300 new homes, 1.4m sq ft of office space, F&B units and a new hotel. The location will provide access to a proposed terminal as part of the HS2 route which includes a new public square and boulevard.
  • Great Northern Warehouse in Manchester is undergoing a comprehensive redevelopment. The plans have been restructured to deliver 146,000 sq ft of office space to meet current demand, a gym, F&B and retail units and residential flats.
  • Shopping centre operator intu has recently announced plans for a new residential development on the doorstep of its Lakeside scheme in Essex. Early designs include public and private open spaces along with lifestyle facilities.
  • Really Local Group have recently announced plans for Catford Mews, a new destination comprising of a cinema, music venue as well as flexible community spaces. The purpose of the venue is to transform Lewisham’s leisure offering and provide a destination for the residents of Catford to meet, socialise and enjoy.

Mixed-use schemes provide fantastic value for tenants with the different property elements really complementing each other: residents drive footfall to retailers and provide candidates for offices, and reciprocally, the convenience significantly increases interest in housing.

Creating a mixed-use destination where consumers can live, work, shop, meet friends and enjoy leisure activities delivers a sense of place. We’re seeing developments increasingly transform urban areas outside of city centres, creating vibrant neighbourhoods and truly becoming the heart of communities.

Mixed-use is clearly the future of shopping centres. The retail market may be receiving some bad press regarding a ‘struggling time’ however, when looked at closer, it becomes clear the market is going through a period of positive change and development, with mixed-use proving to be key!

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