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Mixed-Use Development Trends on the North Gulf Coast


If you are planning a development project along the North Gulf Coast, then you may be interested in exploring the options at your disposal to better match your product to its environment. Depending on your exact area, there are a few rising trends in mixed-use amenities that could favor the integration of your project into its setting, and as a result better reflect your organization’s image and values.

These trends are gaining in popularity for numerous reasons, such as the benefits of overall tenant comfort and satisfaction to leveraging quality design for firm recognition and brand enhancement, so understanding which of these trends fits your commercial development project the best could earn you an increased return across various channels.

In this article, we will discuss some of the more popular mixed-use trends in commercial development projects, and the benefits that they have on the overall structure.

This is our final article in our ongoing series on development trends around the North Gulf Coast. In this series, we cover the trends that are affecting the commercial real estate development industry, such as rooftop amenities, certain amenities of high-performance design, and the value of mixed-use development projects. If you have found this information of use, you may find the rest of the series beneficial as well.


Follow the links below:

Part 1 ‒ Commercial Development Trends on the North Gulf Coast for 2018 [and Beyond]

Part 2 ‒ The Perks of Developing High-Level Rooftop Amenities in the Pensacola Region

Part 3 ‒ Rooftop Developing Trends on the North Gulf Coast

Part 4 ‒  Real Estate Developers: The Benefits of Mixed-Use Developing in the Pensacola Region

Part 5 ‒ Mixed-Use Development Trends on the North Gulf Coast


Mixed-use in mid-rises

Incorporating retail space on the bottom floor of multi-story developments is common in heavily urbanized areas, but over the past decade developers have increasingly shifted the model to math residential structures as well. Cutting a fifth or a sixth of unit-sales can seem counter intuitive at first glance, but adding retail space can increase profit by leasing space while at the same time adding amenity value for the residential units depending on the local environment.

This is not a one-size-fits-all approach, but if the neighborhood is lacking retail space because previous development firms who added to the area opted to optimize residential sales, then having space to lease on the bottom floor of a mid-rise development project is an excellent method of adding value to the product and to the neighborhood as a whole.

Take a walk in the neighborhood and really get a feel for whether or not you could add value to the community by including space for local shops, markets, or coffee houses in your design. An accurate assessment of the neighborhood and its needs is the best way to match your product to its environment and to communicate your organizations image and values to your publics.


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Parking garages

Another method to leverage mixed-use design is by adding parking amenities into your commercial development project. Many municipalities and retail owners are against having parking lots or garages in commercial areas, and limit the amount of public parking in their area as to not alter the overall feeling of the neighborhood with open asphalt parking. 

While this is all fine for the image of an area, people still needs to park. As a result, the lack of parking facilities can be seen as a business opportunity for a development organization.  

This is not to say that you should build a large parkade as opposed to your envisioned project. However, incorporating a floor of public parking into your existing design is a great way to preserve sensitive older communities while still providing the needed parking amenities for growing demographics. If it falls within the design parameters, image of the product, and public need within the community, adding parking amenities could be an excellent way to complement your structure within its environment. 

Shared amenities

Shared amenities is a fairly broad term that incorporates a few factors, such as common areas for tenants, outdoor amenities, and rooftop amenities. The purpose of shared amenities is to leverage potential unit space or additional resources for increased unit value and tenant satisfaction.  

While this does not necessarily increase ROI in terms of straight profit, it does increase the value of the product across multiple channels. Depending on your pro forma parameters, allowing for a tenant-oriented details like a rooftop garden or community space within the building can result in increased tenant retention, public satisfaction, and recognition for your organization.  

If the addition of shared amenities cuts a little too close to the bottom line for comfort, then by no means is it a necessity. However, focusing on the end-customer’s satisfaction can be seen as a long-term investment by positively contributing to the public view of your organization. If the budget comfortably allows for shared amenities, then investing in customer satisfaction is an excellent method to invest in your brand’s recognition and helps pave the way towards better project opportunities in the future.  


Topics: Commercial Development, High-Performance Design

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