Mixed-Use Buildings: Beneficial for Owners and Community

TMA Architects has designed a new mixed-use development in the city of Waxahachie. The project reflects a growing trend in many communities: walkable neighborhoods and a wide range of housing options that promote environmentally friendly habits.

The development, called The Place on North Grove, is a walkable urban village including multi-family units and relevant retail businesses. We’ll look to integrate this project into existing nearby neighborhood trails, with generous landscaping for surrounding and on-site residents to enjoy.

Are You Familiar with Mixed-Use Design?

Mixed-use design has been around since the 1900‘s. At that time, this project was unique in that it featured two to three stories. The first floor was used for retail, offices, or some other kind of business. The second and third floors were a residence for rent or a hotel. From the 1900’s through the 1920’s, you could find these buildings surrounding many town squares throughout the country.

This type of building was popular for two reasons. First, it offered security and shared parking. If the business on the first floor was closed, the tenants from the second and third floors were home. Second, two floors (or more) gave the building presence. Sure, owning a one-story building was (and still is) a big deal, but adding a second or third floor gave presence to the structure.

What Happened to Mixed-Use Buildings?

As the country grew, it became dependent on cars, and mixed-use buildings lost their cachet. Cities began segregating and zoning just about everything. Approach any intersection, and you will find a strip center on just about every corner with single-story businesses packed next to each other.

Why is Mixed-Use Making a Comeback?

First, many urban and suburban neighborhoods would like to be more pedestrian and bike-friendly. When you leave your home or apartment, it’s nice to walk or bike to a local pharmacy or convenience store – maybe meet friends for a hand-crafted beer or a bite to eat.

Second, due to the housing market, renting continues to be an attractive option.

Interestingly, when mixed-use projects began making a comeback in Fort Worth in 2005, there were no codes for these types of buildings. Today, TMA Architects knows every need and requirement for these projects. We have completed 16 mixed-use projects in Fort Worth and surrounding communities.

Mixed-use projects not only help develop walkable communities, they support surrounding single-family residences and offer the project owner a revenue source.

If you’re thinking about a mixed-use building, contact us! We’ll be glad to help.