We read an article today that new construction developments that provide living space close to working spaces may be coming to the USA. Newsflash! Already happened. There may be some debate over who started this process first, but even back in the early days of the USA, it was not uncommon for people to have businesses below and living quarters above or behind the storefront. Remember the Olsens from Little House on the Prairie? Certainly the concept improved in New York before it spread to many other USA cities where many buildings offer first floor businesses and many upper levels of apartments for over 100 years. The concept has been improving again since the 1990s where many developments were seeking to bring more shopping and employers were closer to residential living units to improve quality of living benefits for single young professionals and reduce environmental footprint. Now in 2022, someone says it may be coming to America? Already done.
Now, as it relates to opportunity, it is true that more planning commissions are starting to recognize and be open to more of these types of developments, especially with the rise in demand for more affordable housing, but be warned. These spaces are not often less expensive, at least when they are new or newer developments. Many developers are building to attract those with means to live and desire to shop or play. Some people consider these mini-communities or inner city communities to be trendy, but again…not new to New York. Re-imagined? Maybe. New? No. The new identifier tag of 15 minute cities simply eludes to the fact that someone might be able to live, shop, work all within 15 minutes, but the concept is not new, just the tag. But it does sound trendy!
What we would note as a benefit of this type of news is that where there is a problem, a solution i begging to be developed. Given the current economic environment and attitudes of the younger generation to economize more, we will likely see an explosion of these types of mixed use mini-communities in more urban and suburban areas. FYI, Europe has been doing this for some time also, so…glad someone is noticing the opportunity rising. Did you? You do now.