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Are you planning on getting in on the mixed-use development craze? They seem to be everywhere right now, and chances are, they are the communities of the future. But what makes for a successful mixed-use community?


Here are some tips on how to plan a successful mixed-use development:


Make Everything Within Walking Distance

People who are interested in living in mixed-use developments are attracted to the lifestyle that comes along with these communities, so plan accordingly. Your mixed-use development should be mostly walkable. People are looking for places where they can walk to work and to most stores. Ideally, residents should not have to drive on a regular basis, unless they are going out of town. When residents are looking to leave town, they’ll also need access to public transportation or nearby highways, so try to find a location that near both.


Variety is Key

A successful mixed-use development should include some variety. The more, the better. People will be more interested in living in your community if they have lots of options for where to eat, shop, work, and play.


Prepare for Challenges

Like any project, creating a successful mixed-use community will have challenges. If you can identify and prepare for these ahead of time, you’re more likely to overcome them. Be prepared to deal with entitlement risks, parking issues, and financing challenges.


You also need to consider the density of the community you want to build. Don’t plan for a density that is too high for the location. Consider the roads in the area, as well as the water and sewer systems.


Keep the process simple to developers. Have a clear, thought-through plan that makes sense for the long-term. You’ll need to be consistent with your plans to ensure that the permitting and construction processes run smoothly.



You’re going to be mixing residential properties with businesses, which means you may run into zoning issues. It’s necessary to understand zoning laws where you’re building. Many of these laws were put in place to keep businesses and residencies separated, so they can’t be ignored. Instead, be prepared to challenge them.


Get the Nearby Community Involved

You may receive pushback from the nearby community during your planning. The best way to address (or avoid) this is to make them part of the process. Be sure to share the benefits of mixed-use communities with them. If you can get their support, you’ll have a much easier time during the entire process.



Planning a successful mixed-use community can be difficult, but you can make it easier if you are well-prepared. Create your plan, involve the community, and prepare for the potential challenges ahead. Good planning can mean the difference between failure and success.