The Pros and Cons of Renting in a Mixed Use Property: Is It Right For You?

If you’re in the market to rent, you might come across something you’ve never heard of before: a mixed-use property. Changing real estate trends have popularized mixed-use buildings. While there are many advantages to renting in a mixed-use building, there are also a few things to consider before renting one.

Let’s look at the definition of a mixed-use property, the pros and cons of living in this type of property, and where you might find them.

What is a mixed-use property?

By definition, a mixed-use property is a building that contains both commercial and residential space. Mixed-use buildings combine multiple types of real estate within a single building and provide a range of options for tenants. In mixed use, there are a number of space combinations that you can see: retail, residential, office, or industrial. Residents love having their favorite shops and restaurants within walking distance of their homes, and these buildings help meet those needs.

Types of mixed-use properties

It is more common for mixed-use developments to include complementary property types: an apartment complex with attached restaurants or a hotel connected to a boutique or gym. Let’s take a look at the most common types you might see on the market.

Main Street

Main Street is the oldest known mixed-use real estate model in America. Downtown mixed commercial and residential properties are a staple for most communities. Cities are often built around these buildings. The main street building type could include a two or three storey residential building with commercial units on the ground floor. Going back to its name, they are usually located on the main street of a town.

Living/working space

The quintessential living and working space offers small businesses living space in the same building. Often above, below or next to residential space, an example is business partners living next to each other and next to their business.

Residential and Office

Typically a commercial building with multi-family residential units in the same building, this type of space mixes office and residential units while providing greater walkability for tenants.

Mixed-use hotels

One of the newer models of mixed-use properties, mixed-use hotels include a hotel with retail space, a gym or fitness center, and some sort of dining and entertainment .

The benefits of mixed-use buildings

Let’s take a look at the many benefits of living in a mixed-use building. Primarily, they offer a greater range of accommodations while fostering a diverse and multi-faceted community.

Walkability promotes a strong community

Duty cycle, for many, will make or break a deal. According to National Association of Realtors, most Americans prefer to walk to what they need. Coined “The 15 Minute Town”, the perfect living space is within a 15 minute walk to restaurants, schools and other everyday shopping destinations.

In cities where traffic and gas prices are high, the ability to walk gives residents more time to enjoy the outdoors. Since people tend to spend more time within walking distance, the neighborhood surrounding mixed-use buildings often has a stronger sense of community. Mixed-use buildings are often closer to schools, parks, libraries, and other community needs, another major benefit for residents.

Better property management

Due to the increased needs of mixed-use buildings, property management is typically more responsive than in strictly residential environments. With both commercial and residential units under construction, management will work efficiently to mitigate issues and provide a quick resolution. Depending on the type of mixed-use building you are renting, there may be multiple property managers for a single property, which can speed up overall response time.

Considerations for living in a mixed-use building

Despite all the great benefits, there are a number of things to consider before renting in a mixed-use building. Finding what’s right for you can depend on a number of factors.

There could be major differences between living in a mixed-use building and living in a mixed-use neighborhood. Real estate surrounding mixed-use buildings can offer the same amenities without navigating the same traffic as the building itself. There can be different vibes between the two, so it’s best to explore any neighborhood you’re considering to see if it’s right for you.

Management can sometimes be more difficult in the context of mixed use. Depending on the type of spaces built, multiple property managers may oversee a single building. Although residents may receive answers more quickly, they may need to contact various people for assistance with maintenance or other issues. If the building is not managed properly, it could lead to delays in maintenance requests. Ask any property manager for protocol for assistance when renting.

Finally, poor residential planning can lead to tensions between shops and residents, especially if the residences are above a noisy business or if accesses to the property overlap in an awkward way. When checking out a mixed-use property, be sure to take note of how building companies overlap with residential units. Is the building close to public transit or nightlife? These factors could also affect your decision.

Where to find mixed-use buildings

Now that you know the background of mixed-use properties, where can you start finding them? RentHop offers a multitude of mixed-use listings. There are a number of real estate agents on RentHop who specialize in mixed-use or multi-use properties. Here are some lists to get you started:

1.) 146 West 57th Street

Check out this rental unit with great views of Central Park located at 146 West 57th Street. The commercial part of the building has been used for office space!

2.) 217 ​​West 57th Street

Originally named the Nordstrom Tower, this building is now known as Central Park Tower. Discover this rental unit which is on the market right now for $50,000/month.

3.) 151 East 58th Street

One Beacon Court at 151 East 58th Street is commonly referred to as the Bloomberg Tower due to Bloomberg’s offices being located on the first floors of the building. Residents can also enjoy upscale North Chinese cuisine at the Hutong, conveniently located on the ground floor. Units here are generally expensive, take this $21,000/month rental unit for example.

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