The Pros and Cons of Mixed-Use Developments

by | Jul 10, 2019 | Building Systems, Design Build

Mixed-use developments are transforming both the urban and suburban metropolitan areas across the country and continue to be popular. There are, however, some benefits and drawbacks of these developments and most of them depend on the stakeholder’s involvement in the process of the project, from blueprints to reality.

Mixed-Use Developments Have Many Benefits

Mixed-use developments are designed to rejuvenate communities and create spaces that enable the community to work, live and shop. Overall these developments are promoted as a way for a community to gather while allowing for consolidation of infrastructure. This consolidation includes:

  • The ability to have significantly less costly sewer systems
  • A unified electrical grid and water service
  • A unified security and fire protection service
  • More consolidated use of parking space through parking garages versus lots

Overall this type of planned community brings cost savings for the developers, once a design plan is chosen.

Mixed-Use Developments May Face Challenges

Mixed-use developments often face a variety of barriers in many communities through local statutes.  Municipal zoning laws were passed in some cases years ago to keep residences, retail shops and factories separated, which create hurdles for city and suburban planners to approve new mixed-use developments. The process to change local statutes may meet resistance from the local community, and may be time-consuming before consensus is reached and approval of plans for a developer is made.

Local infrastructure and public service considerations may also create obstacles and may require improvement or construction of roads, sewer, and electrical systems. Consideration must be made for fire and police service for surrounding areas to ensure adequate protection for outlying communities.  Often municipalities will stipulate that the high costs be shared by developers for new infrastructure and services. Often developers must seek local tax incentives and rebates to help with construction costs, which some municipalities are unwilling to agree to.

Design-Build Firms Are Ideal for Mixed-Use Developments

The right design-build partner will guide developers through the design and construction phases of mixed-use developments and are positioned to deliver innovative spaces that save time and money.

K-Con Inc. is a full-service design-build general contractor, specializing in commercial, light-industrial and government construction. K-Con Inc. serves commercial and government entities in Charleston and across the United States.  Please contact us today to see how we can best serve your needs.