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The Cold Hard Facts About Mixed-Use

Don’t like hype? Want to know what makes a truly great mixed-use project? Space Between Design Studio partner Patrick Kennedy is your man. We talked with Patrick about what developers are doing right and wrong in mixed-use development and he didn’t hold back. Meet Patrick at Bisnow’s DFW Mixed-Use Forum on May 19 at the InterContinental Dallas. Read on for a no-BS preview.


Mixed-use is having its moment, but that isn’t always a good thing. Patrick says he sees a lot of construction of ground-floor retail where it shouldn't be, the lack of construction of ground floor flex use/commercial where it should be, a general lack of long-term vision, and perhaps more worryingly, the overbuilding of a singular product type.

The positive: pressure for a walkable city is building in DFW, and the market is trying to deliver. Patrick says we have to align public policy, infrastructure expenditures, zoning and finance so developers can build great places profitably rather than further greenfield development.

High-quality urban design can be subtle or dramatic, Patrick says. The two highway removals in San Francisco would be considered dramatic examples, but were only possible through the highway protests from the 1960s that prevented the loop tunnel being built under Russian Hill. A subtle example might be the closure of a street here or there in Trafalgar Square or Times Square, or even the reduction of vehicular space on Lowest Greenville or Bishop Avenue.


For truly great mixed-use projects, Patrick looks to Hays Valley since the removal of the Central Artery in San Francisco, the 30-year timeline of Bishop Arts revitalization that is still ongoing or the subtle mixed-density infill in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.

Here in Dallas, Patrick is excited about TxDOT's CityMAPS process and the two-way conversion of McKinney and Cole in Uptown.

At Bisnow’s Mixed-Use Forum on May 19, Patrick will expand on Millennials' influence on urban development. Join the conversation with him and other industry experts to network and have some fun. Buy your tickets here.