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Making themselves at home: Retail and mixed-use developments

  • In Association with JLL
  • July 5, 2017
Making themselves at home: Retail and mixed-use developments

As land and property prices rise, mixed use developments are rapidly emerging in Auckland and other cities across the globe.

Mixed use developments typically combine two or more uses within a building, site or block. They can be designed horizontally or vertically, and may include a combination of residential, office and retail space. Retail and other commercial premises are generally located at ground floor with apartments or offices above.

These types of development have many benefits. Increased residential density helps to reduce urban sprawl, and residents have easy access to retail amenities, and reduced travel times between home, work and leisure activities. This type of high density development is increasingly required in Auckland and is a key strategy for the city’s growth under the Auckland Unitary Plan.

Being part of these new town developments offers exciting prospects to retailers, especially in areas that lack modern retail experiences. So, what do retailers need to consider when operating in a mixed use development? At JLL, we’re currently working with developers and retailers in a number of mixed use developments and understand the complexities of this new world.

As a retailer, you need to think about how different users will interact with the space. A  development may feature 120 stunning apartments above your retail offer, but if the residents leave early and come home late, this may not work for your business. Check that there is demand for your services as they won’t work without the support of the development’s occupants.

It’s also essential that you pick the right location within the development. Retailers will want to be located on prominent areas of the site, such as at corners and intersections, with street frontages that are highly visible and exposed to foot traffic.

You’ll also want to consider transport and parking options. For example, does the development have visitor parking, or is it restricted to the resident population? Being next to transport nodes and having car parking for your client base will help to ensure the success of your business.

If you’re a food and beverage provider, you’ll no doubt require back of house facilities, extraction fans, grease traps and gas – make sure these are or can be provided before you commit.

It’s a good idea to look to other successful mixed use developments to see what works and what doesn’t. One such example is the Ramada Suites Albany. It ticks all the boxes for a successful mixed use development. The complex is home to a new hotel, 18 residential and 66 serviced apartments, and 14 retail tenants, including The Coffee Club and Just Laptops. The retail tenants benefit from patronage from both the hotel guests and growing local resident population. The area has also been landmarked by Auckland Council for further development, which will boost the local client base. In addition to all this, the complex is well-located next to the State Highway 1 interchange and park and ride service into central Auckland. It also includes retail parking and separate underground parking for hotel guests.

Similarly, Long Bay Village on Auckland’s North Shore is a vibrant retail and dining destination in the city’s most desirable new residential development. The complex, which is earmarked to have around 2,000 dwellings that will home 5,000 people, will also include supermarkets, bars, restaurants and everyday services.

So, if you’re considering setting up your retail business in a mixed use development, make sure you do your research and get advice from the experts. Understanding the whole package will be the key to your success.

Chris Beasleigh, national director retail sales and leasing (New Zealand) for JLL.

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