Mixed-use developments a winning combination

Source: The West Australian

As urban sprawl continues to advance, more people are pursuing the convenience of inner-city living, with the option of mixed-use developments becoming a popular choice.

The concept for mixed-use complexes is to combine both commercial, retail and residential spaces into one development.

Blackburne Managing Director Paul Blackburne said mixed-use developments were designed to accommodate a wide variety of customer needs.

“Mixed-use allows us to focus on our core development but also provides the benefit of easy access to vast retail and beverage outlets contained within the centre,” he said.

Responsible for the ONE Subiaco project on the corner of Rokeby and Roberts roads, Mr Blackburne said the project would offer customers the perks of a mixed-use development, including 12 retail tenancies and one office tenancy below 235 apartments.

“ONE Subiaco will have 235 apartments, including a combination of one, two and three-bedroom apartments, as well as nine penthouses,” he said.

“The ground-floor retail component will have various food and beverage outlets, including a bistro, a high-end specialist Japanese restaurant and a bottle shop.”

Another mixed-use development, delivered by Stirling Capital, 26 on Charles showcases the benefits of mixing commercial and residential.

With four levels of commercial tenancies and 27 residential apartments, Stirling Capital Managing Director Luke Reinecke said complexes such as these were becoming more common.

“The popularity of mixed-use developments has certainly risen over the last three to four years, and it’s a trend we’re expecting to continue to grow,” he said.

“They can prove extremely popular if they are located in the right areas and the design caters for all the different uses.”

For both residential and commercial tenants, the benefits of being within a mixed-use development is substantial.

“Everything residents need is right on their doorstep,” Mr Reinecke said.

“Residential owners who choose to live in one of the residences are able to make use of all the conveniences and amenities within the central location.

“For an owner who invests without living in the building, they are able to attract higher-quality tenants.

“For businesses, these developments offer the opportunity to be in a building that is different to most ordinary inner-city skyscrapers – it allows for a different kind of atmosphere whilst still being located in a convenient location.”

However, one of the major flaws Mr Reinecke and his team found with these developments was when balance was not achieved.

“Something we’ve found to be key in a successful mixed-use development is balancing the requirements of the commercial and residential environments,” he said.

“When this balance isn’t achieved, a development won’t be successful in meeting the needs of the residents or businesses.”

Further to this, according to Mr Blackburne, is the way certain things such as strata and amenities can be divided up.

“Mixed-use developments can create complexity in the way the building is managed,” he said. “This includes not only contributions to the strata budgets, but also how services such as power and water are distributed.”

LJ Hooker Commercial Perth Executive Jack Bradshaw said, from a commercial perspective, each development was exclusive.

“There is no one-size-fits-all design, as the developments are typically tailored to best suit the environment in which they are positioned,” he said.

“Traditional combinations vary, comprising high or low-rise residential and serviced residences with retail and office space.”

Mr Bradshaw said more mixed-use developments would arise over the Perth skyline in the future.

“Local planning policies now encourage mixed-use developments, offering plot ratio bonuses in some instances,” he said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the popularity to provide an all-in-one living environment.”