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Benefits of Mixed-Use Development

By 06/01/2023 0 Comments

Due to changing demographic trends, the real estate market and high economic risk drive the demand for high-quality, compact and walkable communities. The design of multi-purpose buildings is driven and based on people’s interests and demands. In other words, it can solve their problems and enlighten developers to have a keen understanding of how their projects can satisfy the need of the dwellers and tourists. The vibrant mixed-use destinations will allow people to live, work and play simultaneously.

Mixed-use development is the new style of living that is an amalgamation of residential and non-residential buildings to promote home affordability and walkability to homes, workplaces, and amenities. It improves the citizens’ well-being and increases the country’s revenue collection. It endorses a win-win situation for citizens and the government.

What is Mixed-Used Development?

This kind of development is characterised as ‘pedestrian-friendly development that blends two or more residential, commercial, cultural, institutional and/or industrial buildings. It was found that mixed-use development is one of the ten principles of smart growth. It is a strategy that is essential to foster community design and development that serves public health, the community and the environment.

The research highlighted characteristics of mixed-use development, i.e., it provides three or more important revenue-producing sources (such as office, residential, hotel, and entertainment), integration and compatibility of land uses and creates a walkable community with uninterrupted pedestrian connections. It means that mixed-use has an exceptional building design as it creates a mechanism for residents to work, play and live.

Why Does Pakistan Need Mixed-Use Development?

Pakistan is considered one of the most urbanised countries in South Asia, with 36.4% of the urban population due to increased rural-urban migration (UNhabitat, 2017). Currently, there is a 10 million units of housing deficit in Pakistan. This migration can be perceived as a positive development for economic growth because it may create business and job opportunities. The flawed and irrational policies are mounting pressure on the government to pursue vertical development. The concept of mixed-use development can present the solution to the housing deficits and improve people’s standard of living.

In Pakistan, most houses are built in a horizontal format, making people live far away from city centres which house all the jobs and marketplaces. This makes the provision of mobility and municipal services a significant challenge. Owing to this, mixed-use buildings have the ability to provide all basic facilities in close proximity.

Benefits of Using Mixed-Use Development

Increased Economic Viability

Research has found that mixed-use development encourages economic growth in local communities. It promotes walkability, which plays a significant role in the economic viability of a city. This kind of framework will promote the business environment and housing investment due to the availability of all basic facilities under one roof or in close proximity.

Cost Saving Infrastructure

The multi-purpose facilities are useful for saving operational costs. For instance, central heating/cooling plant to serve a larger building instead of multiple individual buildings and staff cost as they are working for maintaining equipment and safety for the whole building etc. Hence, a unified energy supply system will reduce costs and help management operate the mixed-use building efficiently.

Increase Tax Revenue

The multi-purpose building can be helpful for the country to increase the revenue of the city as it is a mix of commercial, residential and business activities. It was estimated that 100 shopping malls and bazaars in Karachi had paid a total tax of over Rs 94 billion, which is a total of 82% of the tax collected from the Saddar market (Mufti, 2020). It was found that mixed-use development in Nashville city in the United States generates 1,150 times more tax revenue per acre for the city than the traditional style development (Schmitt, 2013).

Healthier and Walkable Places

The mixed-use development allows inhabitants to walk around the cities as this kind of development spares space for footpaths and saves green spaces. As per the research, people would prefer to live in areas where basic amenities lie within the proximity of walking distance. In Pakistan, traffic jams are increasing due to the increase in the number of vehicles in the cities. Hence, it is high time the government give more importance to vertical expansions.

Revitalise Downtown

The Britannica Dictionary has defined Downtown as the main or central part of a city or town, the part where buildings are located in close proximity to offices, markets and malls etc. The revitalisation downtown program can generate local business and new investment opportunities, and underutilised space can be used efficiently. Building downtown malls would elevate the opportunities for businessmen and local communities.   

Lead to Higher Property Values

Another benefit of mixed-used development is better property management. It includes residential, commercial and industrial estate, increasing its value in monetary and physical terms. The mixed-use development provides a benefit that includes higher quality tenants, a shorter vacancy cycle, better processes and improved support.

Increase in Efficiency

Since commercial and residential tenants occupy the same building, resources such as energy, trash disposal etc., can be used more efficiently. Municipalities save even up to 38% on infrastructure costs while serving compact developments as opposed to large-lot subdivisions (Lefrois, 2017). Vertically mixed-use buildings can also reduce long-term maintenance costs over individual buildings since services can be shared through residential and commercial spaces.

Promote Tourism

The multi-purpose building also promotes tourism in the country. As tourists can take advantage of having different kinds of markets and hotels in one building, such as providing guests with shopping, eating and entertainment options. Moreover, it gives new experiences and increases profit margins for investors. For instance, Florence Galleria, a project by IMARAT Group of Companies, is under construction and located in DHA Phase 2, consisting of 10 floors. It is comprised of 4-star hotels, offices, markets etc. Florence Galleria endorses Retail, Hospitality, and well-being all under one Roof. It is located in a prime location and will be considered one of the tourist attractions.

Conclusion

Mixed-use development is a new form of urban development that can increase the country’s economic growth. It provides various benefits, such as cost-saving infrastructure, increased tax revenue, property value, tax collections, and promotes tourism etc. It is a dire need for Pakistan to change its focus from horizontal to vertical development.

References

Esajian, J. (2020). Mixed Use Development Investing Explained. Retrieved from Fortune Builders: https://www.fortunebuilders.com/mixed-use-developments-on-the-rise/

Lefrois. (2017). ADVANTAGES OF MIXED-USE BUILDINGS. Retrieved from Lefrois Builders and Developers: https://www.lefrois.com/advantages-of-mixed-use-buildings/

Mufti, E. (2020). Tax returns from Karachi’s low-income markets surprisingly high. Retrieved from https://tribune.com.pk/story/2265363/tax-returns-from-karachis-low-income-markets-surprisingly-high

Schmitt, A. (2013). Taxes Too High? Try Building Walkable, Mixed-Use Development. Retrieved from https://usa.streetsblog.org/2013/05/21/taxes-too-high-try-building-walkable-mixed-use-development/

Shock, D. (2017). Understanding the Benefits of a Downtown Revitalization Program. Retrieved from https://onregionalecdev.com/2017/09/18/understanding-the-benefits-of-a-downtown-revitalization-program/

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