2007-02-19, 11:43

Mixed-use or multi-use: is there a difference?

By: Jonathan Groner
The following, in its entirety, is a dispatch from Riccardo A. Davis, managing editor of Retail Traffic magazine, from the Conference on Open-Air Centers sponsored from Feb. 14-16, 2007, in Phoenix by the International Council of Shopping Centers:

Hospitality is top of mind among the attendees of the 2007 ICSC Conference on Open Air Centers.

But it’s not the accommodations or the level of service being rendered at the conference site in Phoenix, the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa.

During the welcoming reception Wednesday evening, upbeat developers and architects were abuzz about their as yet announced mixed-use projects.

While they wouldn’t share specific details such as the projects’ site, each noted a key driver in its anticipated success as the hotel.

The next morning during the general session titled, “Mixed Use” - Should Your Company Be in Mixed-Use Development," two panelists, both developers of mixed-use projects, added fuel to the fire.

“With hotels, you get a premium on residential sales, rentals and higher occupancy rates,” said Yaromir Steiner, CEO of Steiner + Associates. He added that demand for hotels is rising because they are seen as critical to generating above-average returns at mixed-use projects.

Steiner’s fellow panelist, Lee Wagman, CEO of The Martin Group, notes mixed-use’s fast-growing popularity is fueled by projects that most successfully combine several elements into a cohesive whole.

He was clear, his definition of mixed-use incorporates three or more components into a live, work and play environment that creates a high-density hub.

Wagman says, “Two uses is “multi-use, not mixed-use.”

Are multi-use and mixed-use actually different? Or can the terms be used interchangeably? Are they in fact being used interchangeably when it might make more sense to preserve a distinction?

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Blogger legbamel said...

Wouldn't two uses be "dual-use" rather than "mixed-use"? I'm a firm supporter of mixed-use development, and it's fantastic to see people so aware of it's necessity. But using the term because you know it's hot doesn't mean that it's the right term. Combining a hotel, retail stores, and restaurants might be. Having apartments and condos on-site for the employees would be more so.

1:22 PM  

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