News - August 3, 2017

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Mixed-Use Developments: The Keys to Quality


DENVER — Mixed-use development has become extremely popular, but it is not the panacea for the American real estate industry.

That was one of the takeaways from a panel of prominent real estate entrepreneurs speaking at the 51st gathering of the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE) conference in Denver Thursday. Moderated by journalist Joe Gose, contributor to The New York Times, the “Designing Quality Mixed-Use Projects” addressed such topics as the continuing trend to designing for millennials to the changing face of the retail sector.

While mixed use is gaining in popularity, said Jeffrey A. Bayer, President & CEO of  Birmingham, Ala.-based Bayer Properties, a national commercial real estate firm,  the whole world is not going to mixed use.  “People still love living in suburbs, in midtown and other areas, and we have to be careful that we do not over do mixed use,” he said. “Sometimes developers become enamored of the latest trend.  Mixed use is not a panacea. It is not for every one, but there is a large section of the population that wants it.”

Nationally known architect David Kitchens, Principal-in-Charge of architectural firm Cooper Carry’s Washington, D.C. office, agreed there has been an across the board plethora of mixed-use developments from high-density urban environment to suburban locations. “Younger people do not want to live in their cars to get to their jobs,” said Kitchens. “Millennials want to be smart in how they live. If you really get down to the fundamentals, we’re seeing all generations wanting to live smarter in mixed use environments.”