Mixed-Use Development In Kenya- Live Work & Play Concept

Joy Waweru | 1 year ago
Mixed-Use Development Property in Nairobi Kenya PHOTO:COURTESY

Mixed-use development (MUD) can be broadly defined as developments containing more than one real estate theme that blends with commercial, retail, and residential spaces with modern design aesthetics and taste all in one location.

Many of these are viewed from the perspective of live, working, and play for communities that may include tenants, visitors, and permanent residents in the same place.

Mixed-use development is not a new trend in Kenya with several developments, particularly in the commercial zones having a mix of office and residential space. In contrast, those in townships areas have retail space on the ground floors and residential areas on the upper floors (Vertical MUD).

In recent years, however, we have seen the emergence of large-scale integrated mixed-use developments, composed of extensive retail malls. A successful mixed-use project considers many factors, including accessibility, employment, residential and environmental to create a more holistic space for living, working, and playing.

The advantages of mixed-use developments are as follows;

•More compact development, and land-use synergy e.g. residents provide customers for retail which provides amenities for residents)

•Stronger neighborhood character, "sense of place", and community identity

•Developers can relax knowing the inherent monetary risks spread over several markets. If the residential market softens during the development of a mixed-use property, the commercial or industrial markets can buoy the project until the demand for housing returns.

•Reduced distances between housing, workplaces, retail spaces, and other amenities and destinations

•Studies show that mixed-use developments provide significantly higher returns to local governments through property and sales taxes.Like anything, great benefits don’t come without challenges. Mixed-Use Developments have downsides, including;

•High Construction and Development Costs

•Cannibalization Risk


•Zoning and building permits can be tricky, depending on the location. marketing for residential, commercial, and industrial options can be more difficult than a single-use project for the developer.

In terms of value and appreciation, such mixed-use developments get higher demand due to the right mix since these projects integrate residentially, retail, and commercial business, investors are relatively protected by cyclical downturns. Even if the retail investment softens, they may get sustained income from residential properties.

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