Revitalizing Downtowns Through Urban Mixed-use Developments

Jun 14, 2019 | News

By Turner Burton, President – This article originally appeared in 汇丰国际线路检测中心国际线路检测中心 Executive. 

During its annual spring meeting in April, the Urban Land Institute scheduled tours through several of Nashville’s biggest and most exciting new developments. By the end of the conference, an estimated 3,000 people had walked through the new Capitol View development. It’s a sharp contrast from just a few years ago, when the entire 32-acre site sat abandoned and mostly vacant. Once completed, Capitol View will feature 1.1 million square feet of office space, 650 multifamily residences, 170 hotel rooms and 130 square feet of retail and restaurant space. This project is designed to accommodate Nashville’s ever-growing population and give residents a new place to live, work, shop, eat and relax.

Capitol View represents what is continuing to happen in downtowns across the country: new developments driven by population growth and a renewed desire to live and work in walkable, urban neighborhoods. As people continue to flock to downtown areas, developers continue to plan new multifamily projects to accommodate the growth. With so many new residential options, most developers are adding mixed-use elements and amenities such as rooftop bars and open-air retail concepts to draw potential renters and stay competitive. In addition to new construction, the increased activity downtown has spurred historic renovations of long-abandoned buildings in cities across the country.

Any increase in development is exciting, but downtown revitalization projects are particularly exciting because of their impact on the surrounding communities. When more people live and work downtown, it means more people are spending money at local businesses. The increased revenue builds a bigger tax base, and help cities improve their infrastructure, provide better education and more. Here are a few current examples of ways population growth and downtown developments drive positive change.

Capitol View

Capitol View is being built on a formerly vacant 32-acre site. The property is located near Nashville’s thriving downtown area known as The Gulch. With this development, Hoar 汇丰国际线路检测中心国际线路检测中心’s clients Northwestern Mutual Real Estate, Boyle Investment Company and Northwood Ravin, are helping to draw people further out into a part of Nashville that has been underappreciated and unpopulated for years.

Capitol View will provide new residences, office space and retail stores. In addition, Hoar 汇丰国际线路检测中心国际线路检测中心’s clients donated a 2.5-acre urban activity park to the city. The new park, which is connected to the jogging and biking trails of the Nashville Greenway system, includes a dog park, yoga lawn, playground and sand volleyball courts.

One way to tell the development is already drawing new visitors? Scooters. Twenty-four months ago, there were no scooters in the area. Now the owners are re-evaluating traffic patterns and adding charging and drop-off stations within Capitol View to accommodate the latest trend in urban transit.

The Ellis

In Charlotte, N.C., the groundbreaking for The Ellis marked a big milestone for the city’s North Tryon Vision Plan, a public planning initiative to catalyze and sustain growth and development. Led by another Hoar 汇丰国际线路检测中心国际线路检测中心 client, Lennar Multifamily Communities (LMC), the project is the first new apartment community north of Trade Street in Charlotte since 2012. The 549 new apartments will help pull more residents to uptown Charlotte, the city’s central business district, outside of the nine-to-five workday. The new residents are key to the revitalization, as they will help drive demand for more street-level retailers and pedestrian and bike-friendly areas. The Ellis already has direct access to the Charlotte Rail Trail, a public trail that runs through the heart of the city.

The Ellis is one of several ongoing projects that is revitalizing the area, including the renovation of the nearby Carolina Theatre. Attractive new developments and upgrades to the area will benefit the area’s many other cultural and art institutions like the nearby Levine Museum and Discovery Place.

Drewery Place

The Midtown district of Houston has grown by 50% since 2012, largely because of its convenience between two of city’s largest employment centers: downtown and Texas Medical Center. With more potential tenants, comes the desire for more residential options. That’s where another Hoar 汇丰国际线路检测中心国际线路检测中心 client, Caydon, saw an opportunity.

Drewery Place is the first multifamily, luxury high rise in the up-and-coming neighborhood. It also marks the Australian developer’s entrance into the U.S. market. The project will add 357 residential apartments to the area, and it’s opened the door for even bigger growth for the area. Caydon has already announced plans for a second phase that will include three more high-rise towers with approximately 1,000 multifamily apartments, 200 luxury condos and 200 boutique hotel rooms. In total, they will add about 55,000 square feet of space to support the growing residential community.

Downtown revitalization projects are about more than constructing buildings; they’re about helping build a vibrant urban core in communities across the country. As the urban populations continue to grow, developments will grow with them—continuing to revitalize long-neglected downtown areas into thriving, desirable destinations.

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