Mixed-use property is a type of commercial property that contains both commercial and residential units.
Before the late 1940s, “mixed-use” described almost all human habitation. Then the rise of suburbs expressed a popular preference for living in residential communities where homeowners commuted to work and drove to shopping centers. Suburbs continue to grow today, and having a larger home far removed from workday responsibilities remains attractive.
Even so, many people consider this time-honored lifestyle more natural.
Familiar examples of mixed-use property
Any urban landscape offers frequent instances of storefronts with apartments above them. A single-family home with a doctor’s or other professional’s office on the ground floor is another common sight. Also, many apartment buildings offer space for markets, bank branches or other retail uses.
“In the vast majority of mixed-use properties,” according to Brownstoner, a website focused on the Brooklyn, N.Y., housing market, “the residential portion takes up more square footage than the commercial portion.”
Not all mixed-use property is in cities. In towns and suburbs as well as cities, many neighborhoods’ zoning laws permit convenience stores or professional offices. That’s why you can find them in otherwise completely residential areas.
E-commerce’s rise led to a decline in the need for retail space. Still, living space close to workplaces remains in demand. As a result, developers retrofit shopping malls and downtown shopping districts to increase the mix of residences in these areas. In similar fashion, many hotel operators convert portions of their units into permanent residences.