The Growth of Mixed-Use Development

Upstate New York cities like Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse have all witnessed a growth in downtown living through the trend of urbanization over the past decade. Developers continue to look for ways to revitalize deteriorated buildings and unused spaces in downtown areas of cities and transform them into new residential and commercial space. In many cities, the demand for downtown living still far outweighs supply which has increased the attention around construction of these new complexes. With occupancy rates at 99.7% in cities like Syracuse, new development will continue to surface.

What is a Mixed-Use Building?

A mixed-use building is one that combines residential living space with commercial office and retail space within the same building. It is common in mixed-use buildings to find commercial office and retail areas at street level with residential living areas above on the upper floors. Retail space at street level often includes coffee shops and restaurants or other retail shopping options which welcome customer foot traffic.

Integrated Management

Developers and tenants alike benefit from a stronger property management team. With several types of tenants (combination of residential, commercial, and retail) it often takes a well-versed property management team to manage the diversity efficiently. Working with an integrated architecture, engineering, construction, and development firm like VIP Structures ensures you are covered throughout all steps in the process, pre-build and post-build.

Zoning and Financial Incentives

With the mixed-use building qualifying as both residential and commercial space, several tax benefits and financial incentives exist that don’t for a typical single-use building. Not sure of how to maximize your investment? Try working with a space consultant who is knowledgeable of the area’s zoning codes and tax benefits. These monetary benefits, coupled with specific types of building material usage and remodeling of historic structures, can create several financial advantages for a developer.

Here are the mixed-use benefits for users.

Benefits of Mixed-Use Buildings for Users

The benefits of mixed-use buildings extend beyond just the developer. Several benefits also exist for residents and tenants. When combined with the benefits for developers, it’s easy to see why there has been tremendous growth in mixed-use applications.


Easy Walkability to Amenities: Walkability and proximity to work and/or school have become major drivers to urbanization. Residents experience the convenience of walking to restaurants, bicycling to work, and realizing the benefits of a close-knit community with most, if not all, amenities nearby.


Environmental Impacts: With mixed-use buildings promoting walkability, they essentially reduce the risk of, and need for, automobiles to drive to work, the store, and to entertainment. As a result, mixed-use buildings promote positive environmental impacts by reducing the carbon footprints in cities. Fewer vehicles translate to less parking space needs, which leads to more community shared spaces and green areas for residents to enjoy in cities. Think parks not parking lots.


Cultural Blend: The two major demographics driving downtown revivals are young professionals and aging baby boomers. These are also two of the largest generational populations as well. With a wide range of generations interested in downtown living, it creates a culturally diverse blend of residents ranging in age from 18 to 81. No matter the age, what they are all interested in are the social aspects, community feel, and benefits that come with urban living.


Revival and Revitalization of Downtown: As demand for downtown living increases, developers continue to attempt to keep up with supply. As a result, more buildings are restored, new structures are established, and more amenities are added. It’s a snowball effect in which downtown areas continue to refresh, revitalize, and grow. This creates more options and a more fulfilling lifestyle for residents of all ages.

How can VIP Structures help?

VIP Structures is an integrated design-build firm in Upstate New York. To make a sound investment, our clients must be supported with the right financial package. Our broad range of services assist clients in better understanding related building costs while providing valuable insight into life-cycle expenses, operating costs and product durability. Interested in discussing the benefits of mixed-use buildings and development? Contact us using the form below and we will respond as soon as possible.