This Is The Dawn Of The Vibrant City, Thanks To Mixed-Use
Live/work/play is the motto of every mixed-use development out there, but this model of living is actually about more than just the convenience of having everything at your doorstep. We talked with RED Development VP Jeff Moloznik about why mixed-use is having its moment now, and why it’s so valuable. Join Jeff and other industry experts at Bisnow’s DFW Mixed-Use Forum on May 19.
Jeff tells us any mixed-use project being built today will have a heavy emphasis on integration of the residential component. The live/work/play model works only when all three elements are balanced, ensuring no use overpowers the others.
You need the office and lots of workers because self-sustaining job creation is the bedrock of urban living, Jeff says. In heavy mixed-use cities like Portland, you see a really symbiotic relationship between culture and economy. Culture drives economy and economy drives culture.
At its heart, mixed-use is about livability. People want to be able to walk, shop, have a smoothie, and catch a movie without driving to all of those places; mixed-use promotes the kind of lifestyle that gives you those choices, and gets you out of your car.
As people travel to the urban cores like New York City, San Francisco and Chicago, they return to their own cities missing that sense of organically experiencing the urban lifestyle. “People love to walk out their door and experience the world in 1,000 steps,” Jeff says.
Dallas is experiencing the first shoots of genuine urbanism, Jeff says. The city may never have the density of a place like NYC, but mixed-use developments are giving residents the authentic urban living experience.
RED Development recently celebrated the groundbreaking of the Union Dallas, which will have lots of retail and restaurants. It’s unlike anything Dallas has seen before, consisting of a 22-story office tower and a 22-floor residential high-rise. The Union will feature 300 apartments (with balconies and views), 25k SF of shared amenities, 10 levels of parking, 100k SF of street-level retail and a 24/7 mix of elements.
Another positive of living where you work and play: you get authentic diversity. Cities are not controllable, Jeff says. They’re wild, and the frictions and interactions you get from simply interacting with people at random can produce beautiful things.
Jeff (shown here with Mike Ebert on his left and Scott Rehorn on his right) has seen it happen, too. Not just in NYC and S.F., but in Des Moines, Madison and Milwaukee, Phoenix, Dallas. What all those cities have in common is the people are committed to creating a cultural identity—something that’s possible only when people are living, working and playing together.