As those working in the multi-family development industry know, mixed-use can be a tricky thing. Owing more to trends and marketing than a serious commitment to the urban planning & land use benefits of putting key service amenities in direct proximity to residences, scores of condominiums and apartments atop retail or other commercial spaces were thrown up during the boom. Some were properly designed and worked beautifully. Others were poorly executed and became developers' recurring nightmares, with issues like noise, odors and parking creating conflict between the various users of these structures and creating endless change orders, cost-overruns and end-user financing issues. The legacy of these past problems has scared some developers (and more importantly, some financiers) away from mixed-use. But as the function and 'art' of mixed-use designs are continually refined, the best-planned communities continue to embrace them, including Decatur (we would also note that some of the new Midtown apartment projects are also mixed-use, as well as the ambitious new project in Inman Park we featured last week). Check out the thorough piece from our friends at Decatur Metro for the details of the 192 new apartments and 10,000 square feet of retail planned for a prime spot on Commerce Street.
· Mixed Use: A Conversation with Wells Fargo [Places Magazine Online]
· Mixed Use Development with Apartments Planned for Commerce Drive Bank of America Site [Decatur Metro]