Convenience Drives Popularity of Mixed-Use Developments

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BYLINE: Staff Reporter

Convenience, security and community are driving South Africa's growing demand for mixed-use property developments, according to Nedbank Corporate Property Finance.

Ken Reynolds, the Gauteng regional executive at Nedbank Corporate Property Finance, said mixed-use developments had been steadily evolving into living and working areas of choice for increasing numbers of South Africans over the past decade.

Given the many benefits of these multi-faceted property solutions, they were likely to continue evolving into a viable way forward for South Africa's sprawling, often distressed cities, Reynolds said.

He argued that there were a multitude of benefits for residents, business owners and city planners that were jointly key drivers of the growing appeal of mixed-use developments, particularly in and around South Africa's major cities.

"While the reasons South Africans are gravitating towards mixed-use developments are as diverse as the design of these developments themselves, it's clear that transport, security and convenience considerations are key drivers of the trend, which means that as local governments continue to prioritise transport infrastructure as a means of addressing the challenges of urbanisation, the popularity of mixed-use developments is almost guaranteed to continue increasing exponentially," he said.

Reynolds said the diversity of mixed-use developments across South Africa meant it was impossible to precisely define their format or design, but the premise behind the concept was fairly consistent and typically involved a blend of residential, commercial and, sometimes, industrial properties either within a single building or a precinct.

However, irrespective of the format of the various mixed-use developments, the benefits they offered residents, business owners and tenants were generally the same, and similarly compelling, he said.

"Given the centralisation, compactness and proximity to facilities and amenities provided by most mixed-use developments, their primary appeal is almost always convenience, and when this is coupled, as it so often is, with pleasing design aesthetics, excellent security, and a strong sense of community living, it's not hard to see why mixed-use is fast becoming the development approach of choice in many areas of our country."

Reynolds was confident this trend was set to continue and expand as the benefits of mixed-use developments became more apparent, not just to property developers, but also to local authorities that were facing massive challenges in terms of addressing urban sprawl through innovative densification policies. …