While telling a creative person that you’re a “curator” as a developer once induced eye-rolls, times have certainly changed. Developers are now able to create whole neighborhoods by how they arrange residential units and commercial tenants. Mixed-use property is a great way to rebuild or reinvent a community in need of a cash infusion.
Here are five tips for investing in mixed-use properties and making money from it.
1. Find Complementary Tenants
When you’re looking to make some money from your mixed-use space, you might end up having a tough time getting people to trek out there. Mixed-use spaces aren’t usually located right in the city center where everyone wants to be. However, if you get complementary industries all renting from you, you get to create a destination.
You see this around the country in arts districts. One building owner will get a few galleries, an art store, and rent out a few art studios all from the same space. This allows people who have similar interests to all come together under one roof.
The health and wellness industries are starting to work together like this. You’ll see a yoga studio, a health food market, and a vegan restaurant all within a short radius with the help of the right agent or property manager. Having your tenants work together gives them all an incentive to renew their leases, work with one another, and attract new people to your space.
2. Create an Identity
When you’re working on getting people interested in your mixed-use property, you need to invest in places where you can create an identity. When you buy up a location that’s got a lot of sustainability built into it, you get the chance to create an identity around that. If you’re in a new area that used to have a certain industry located in that part of the city, use that as part of your identity.
In an old shipbuilding facility, become the harbor district or the seafarer’s building. Lean into the identity that you find when you arrive. That can be much easier than trying to craft a new one.
If you’re going to have a residential component to your building, think about the kinds of tenants that you want. You might want to build a community that’s centered around the type of business tenants you’ll have. Consider what people want, what’s meaningful to them, and work to court that residential identity to match your commercial tenants.
With the right residential identity, you can even attract certain commercial tenants. If you’re courting young people and young families, you could have a cafe at the ground floor that has exactly that clientele.
3. Improve the Life of Your Residents
Every neighborhood demographic is a little different and is going to be partially dictated by the size of your property. If you have co-working spaces or outdoor space for your community, you can give them the chance to have fun staying at home. If there are going to be kids and families there, some small and simple play areas for parents to enjoy a coffee while their kids run around can give them a break.
Some building investors look to have a health club and exercise equipment for their residents. If you have the right clientele and the right budget, you could even have a pool in your building. Simple things like a nearby grocery store on the ground floor can improve life immensely.
When you build these things or attract these residents and clients, you’re really building a community. Have a clubhouse where you have a meet and greet event every month with free food or cocktails. Have an art walk that starts at the clubhouse and strolls along the riverside.
Depending on where you are, make the most of integrating your building with the community and your residents with one another.
4. Co-Working is a Money Maker and a Reality
As more than 40% of the American workforce now has the opportunity to work from home at some point, you should help your residents with this. While you might want to rent out part of your mixed-use space to a co-working company, you could start your own.
A simple and large space with some big and comfortable tables is all you need. Have a coffee machine that’s always ready to go and an open floor plan to compete with some of the biggest companies on the market. If you want to take it to the next level, offer the space at a low monthly fee to keep it stocked with food and a staff member.
Having just one person to refill the snack basket or clean out the coffee machine is all that you need. When someone is on staff, your residents will feel comfortable running upstairs for their charger and leaving their things behind. You’ll find that a great number of your residents will appreciate 24/7 access to space where they can read, study, or work on something.
With the distractions of family and home just a few feet away, they find it makes all the difference.
5. Bring Community Events Inside
In every city and suburb, there is a tradition of special or seasonal events. Building complementary events into your calendar to coincide with these or any major holidays can bring tenants together.
Movie nights, fundraisers, or holiday parties can bring out the best in your building and in what you have to offer. Get your commercial tenants to sponsor the themed events and you’ll find that people will become devotees.
Check out this in-depth article about mixed-use property for sale and see where your ideas take you.
Mixed-Use Property is the Future
As cities try to become greener by building up instead of out, mixed-use property is in their future. The more that developers invest in mixed-use space, the more they’re able to help enrich a community with more than just business or just residence.