Mixed-use developments involve challenges and opportunities
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Mixed-use developments involve challenges and opportunities

On Behalf of | Aug 19, 2022 | Real Estate Developers, Real Estate Zoning |

The real estate industry sees trends come and go as it adjusts to customers’ shifting needs and tastes. One trend that continues to increase in popularity is mixed-use developments. Whether it is an apartment complex, a planned community or a refitting of an existing building, buyers and renters see a lot to like about living close to amenities and public spaces.

It starts with the right plans

Due to the high cost, the developer must hammer out the right plan before breaking ground. It includes designs that appeal to consumers but also involve permits, zoning issues, variances, and state or local government input.

The city offers resources and incentives

Those looking to build mixed-use projects also can look at city plans and any development incentives, which can help developers with land use approvals and permitting. Loans from the government can appear in the form of Tax Increment Financing and District Improvement Financing.

Working with the community is essential

There will be a lot of bureaucracy and paperwork involved in the planning. There will also likely be feedback or input from local officials and the existing community who will want to review or “audit” the project to determine if there are any issues at odds with local ordinances or goals.

For example, say the project is in an area with limited parking, but the plan doesn’t include sufficient additional parking to accommodate residents, occupants or customers. The project manager may need to work with the community leaders to find a solution that minimizes neighbors’ headaches and improves parking in the area overall.

Mixed-use projects have a wide variety of elements to address, so it is essential to respond to municipal feedback, acknowledge the issue, and find creative solutions that work for everyone. There may also be environmental regulations to consider, including permits, proper disposal of material, and contracting or franchising with local government. Detailed preparation at the front end will often reduce the likelihood of expensive “fixes” later or damaged relations with local leaders.

Lawyers will be a crucial part of the team

From conception to construction, the team heading up the project will jump through a series of hoops to reach their goal. While the technical issues may be the developers’ forte, lawyers specializing in development and land use will also be instrumental in the process. They can help address compliance concerns, permits, disputes involving permits, applications, and other legal and administrative matters.