Does Your Business Belong in a Mixed-Use Building?

Are you looking for a new location? Setting up shop in a mixed-use development instead of an independent storefront could be just what your business needs. Weigh available mixed-use properties against these questions to see if it’s time to move.

1) How would your business fit next to existing tenants?
What else is in the building, and what would your business add to that mix? Developments with mix-use building apartments or condos on the upper floors are a great match for businesses that provide personal services, such as dry cleaners or salons. People who work in office buildings often love having restaurants conveniently located in the same building. If your business can work in synergy with the other people in the building, it could be a match.

2) Is the building in a favorable location?
An otherwise great mixed-use building in the wrong place isn’t a good fit. If your business depends at least partially on foot traffic from people who don’t live or work in the building, it may be more important to focus on finding the right neighborhood first. The neighborhood (and the building itself) should echo the message your brand conveys about your business as well, so consider whether your business is a good fit for the area the building is in, not just the building itself.

3) How are improvements to the building handled?
Some lease structures place all the responsibility for utility bills on the tenant, so the building owner has mix use building corner store little to no incentive to invest in energy efficiency measures because they won’t enjoy any of the benefits. Look for a building where both the costs and benefits of efficiency and resiliency improvements are shared – or, alternatively, where the building owner shares your priorities in regards to resource conservation or other important considerations.

4) How are the needs of the different building uses accommodated?
Depending on what space types are sharing the building, the developer may have to take extra precautions to ensure the different building uses can work well together. For example, buildings with residential space may need extra attention to acoustics so that noise from retail or hospitality areas doesn’t bother residents. Parking is another area that commonly causes issues, especially with residential space; if you’re considering a building like this, make sure that the building already accounts for the people who live in the building with controlled access to residents-only parking spaces.

5) Does the building comply with safety and zoning regulations?
A reputable mixed-use building will meet or exceed the requirements for all space types. Ease your concerns by talking to existing renters about whether there have ever been compliance issues for elevators, fire inspections, ventilation, accessibility, or other issues. Mixed-use buildings typically have fewer problems with compliance than single-use buildings because they’re built to cover a wide variety of space types from the start, but it never hurts to ask, especially before you sign a lease.

If you’re in the market for space in a mixed-use building, give Craig Byers a call at 319-294-3339 to discuss your needs.