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Mixed-Use Madness

Hip mixed-use projects are helping transform communities throughout the region, and that's why we're excited to hold our big Mixed-Use Revolution event on the topic next Wednesday, featuring Cooper Carry's David Kitchens. David (snapped last week being photobombed by the Vancouver skyline) says new mixed-use projects have to be respectful of their communities. "You can have any architectural style as long as you respect context of scale in any given community."

Cooper Carry has been working on the White Flint Mall transformation in Rockville, and David says adding connectivity to the site is paramount, since for years it's been perceived as an onerous, isolated, car-dominated venue. There's also a 12-foot-high wall separating the mall from the neighborhood, which David says will be taken down to help original home owners and brand-new residents of White Flint (as well as shoppers checking out the new retail) connect with each other in a way that wasn't possible before. (As Reagan said: "Mr. Gymboree, tear down this wall!")

David says he's also working on bringing mixed-use to another mall that's seen better days: ForestCity's Ballston Mall. The key here is complementing the site's strong retail location with what David calls "populator uses" (office, hospitality, residential) that add vibrancy. Strengthening connections to the existing Kettler Capitals Iceplex (a major entertainment destination) is also critical. But keeping things efficient is important at Ballston Mall and with all new mixed-use, David says: "Sustainability is driving the appearance of architecture." Here is info on our April 23 event.