What You Need to Know About Mixed-Use Condo Associations
Mixed-use development remains a popular trend as U.S. cities strive to revitalize downtown areas. The implications for condo associations depends upon the success of the commercial and residential balance. Mixed-use condo associations deal with challenges not faced by regular associations. However, with proper planning by both the association, the developer, and the city, the outcome can benefit everyone.
The term mixed-use refers to a single real estate development containing several different uses. For a condo association, this may mean sharing a single building commercial space including restaurants, bars, and retail. The overarching goal of mixed-use is to plan for services and businesses that compliment the resident component of the building.
Mixed-use development is attractive to cities, especially in their downtown communities. The developer, and not the locality, is responsible for much of the associated costs.
Described as "vertical development," mixed-use condo associations reduce urban sprawl and attract people to living closer to downtown dining, shopping, and events. Mixed-use development is on the rise as cities work to identify the best sites for successful projects.
Key to mixed-use success is public transportation and walkable cities. These two factors draw millennials to mixed-use condo associations as many want to ditch their cars for alternative methods of travel. Baby boomers are also attracted to mixed-use development for the same reasons. Convenience and easy access to the community is just part of what is driving this growing real estate trend.
Pros and Cons
Let's start with the pros of a mixed-use building with a condo association and restaurant, office space, or bar. Having a restaurant on-site is convenient for entertaining business clients or for condo residents who want to dine out close to home. Retail shops provide a place to purchase a last minute gift and nightly entertainment at the bar creates an opportunity for hanging out with friends.
The cons of a mixed-use building are closely associated with these positive attributes. Restaurant kitchens produce smells, some pleasant, some not. Bars often have late night hours and loud music. With more people choosing to telecommute and work from home, the noise is often a problem throughout the day.
The Search for Peaceful, Co-Existence
Living in harmony isn't always easy within a mixed-use development but it is possible. Here are a few suggestions for addressing common issues and complaints:
Communicate—Chances are, the commercial businesses located in the development want to have a successful relationship with condo residents. A business may not realize there is a problem, making communication key to fixing it. A simple conversation or an association letter may do the trick in preventing the problem from escalating into a crisis.
Incorporate—Invite business to association events and incorporate them into your community. Learn to know more about one another and who knows, business or shop might sponsor your next event!
Collaborate—Mixed-use developments represent a variety of talents and skills. Consider forming a committee of both condo association members and business representatives. Meet once a month to share ideas and concerns.
Mixed-use development has many benefits for those seeking to live closer to city amenities and services. For condo associations, mixed-use development is both challenging and rewarding.
Investing in quality community management for a mixed-use condo association is one of the best investments your board can make. It provides peace-of-mind in a rather overwhelming situation by looking out for the best interests of the association.
RealManage provides professional property management for condo associations. Our professional team can help guide your association board and member toward a successful, mixed use outcome. To learn more about how we can help your community thrive, contact us today.