You’ve likely heard of mixed use development and wondered how it could have an effect on a small business like yours. Mixed use development is the idea that zoning restrictions will no longer apply to residential, commercial, office, and cultural spaces and will be able to exist in the same buildings as each other. If you have a small business, you might be wondering how the integration of this type of city planning could alter the profit or productivity of your business.
Though many business owners are averse to the idea of change, this type of new age planning could be a really good thing for owners of small retail or market stores. The integration of all types of uses will shrink the distance between destinations drastically. If you’re currently located far from a cluster of residences or the center of the city, you might be experiencing less foot traffic due to travel time. Moving closer, perhaps into the bottom floor of a residential building, would likely increase foot traffic and bring more customers through the front door. Needless to say, this would likely increase profits.
Another benefit of having commercial business combined with residential areas is a strengthened sense of community. By being located near residential buildings, it’s likely you’ll see the same people enter and exit their homes each day. With commercial and retail needs right at their doorstep, these residents will not have to travel far for a gallon of milk or new pair of shoes; they’ll come to you. A strengthened sense of community could also help drive down the crime rate in residential areas.
While costs are hard to predict, there’s a possibility that mixed use development could help drive down the cost of rent. Not to mention, by having residential and retail spaces combined, everyone will be saving on gas and will be more likely to walk or bike. Any reduction on gasoline consumption is helping our environment and helping our bodies to stay active. It isn’t a stretch to consider that this may improve people’s moods and motivate them to spend their extra money in the shop that’s in their neighborhood.
Having your business moved to a residential area gives you the opportunity to live right next to it. It’s easy to see why this would be a huge convenience. Not only will you eliminate your commute to and from your store location, but also insert some flexibility into your schedule since the trip home will only take a minute. Putting up a “back in fifteen minutes” sign would allow you to grab lunch at home, let your dog out, or even take a quick shower.
While mixed use development does come with its unpredictable costs and small flaws, the positive factors outweigh the negative. As a small business owner, it would be in your best interest to hope mixed use development comes to your hometown.