2006-12-21, 09:39

Mixed-use fever is spreading

By: Jonathan Groner
This month, Retail Traffic magazine reports that "mixed-use fever" is sweeping through the shopping center industry. Here are the first three paragraphs of the story. Davidson, N.C., is just north of Charlotte.

Mixed-Use Accelerates

From the Carolinas to California, the mixed-use fever that is sweeping through the shopping center industry shows no signs of breaking anytime soon. Now even stalwart neighborhood shopping center owners such as Columbia, S.C.-based Edens & Avant are turning their attention to mixed-use development.

The privately held Edens & Avant, whose portfolio includes 170 centers in 18 states, is currently working on several mixed-use projects. The firm's first project, Davidson Commons, will be completed next fall. Located in Davidson, N.C., the Harris Teeter-anchored development will feature 90,000 square feet of retail and office space, as well as five residential units.

"We're being driven more by market demand. Residential and retail in particular are becoming more aligned with the consumer," says Jodie McLean, president and chief investment officer at Edens & Avant. The company's decision to include mixed-use projects in its portfolio complements Edens & Avant's continued expansion into urban areas such as Boston and Washington, D.C. More people want to live in urban settings, and retailers in turn are chasing those consumers, McLean adds.

The story pointed to a survey of 329 real estate developers conducted in September 2006 that indicated that mixed use is the "dominant retail property type when it comes to both new development and redevelopment projects."

Real estate developers and real estate attorneys should take note: mixed use is no longer just an interesting or arcane specialty. Consumer demand has pushed it towards dominance in both development and redevelopment.

The full story can be found at http://retailtrafficmag.com/mag/retail_mixeduse_accelerates/.


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