Cities are competing to retain their vibrancy. The ones which make true mixed-use work for them will win!
‘Mixed-use’ – an all too often overused term for developments. The desire to make cities more interesting places has coincided with several related trends, propelling true mixed-use to the forefront of development activity.
The challenge for city authorities is balancing the top-end-down approach to regeneration, without undermining the authenticity that talented workers appear to demand from their working and living environments. This demographic is driving the change in our cityscape. No longer can we plan the future based on the past where it was all about the bricks and mortar. People are using buildings in a different way, they want their living environment to be a part of the complete urban experience. This desire is driving a new level of creative thinking to deliver mixed-use developments that aren’t just rows of houses, a tower of apartments or distinctive aesthetics. Social amenity within this living environment has become the differentiator. As the office work environment is also undergoing change trending toward open spaces that foster collaboration, so too is our living culture with a growing desire for a social sense of belonging.
Kitty Rothschild, Knight Frank’s National Director – Project Marketing, says that globally, we are seeing infrastructure as a major driver. Not only proximity to central business hubs, main arterials and transport hubs, but also social infrastructure with proximity to malls, education, health facilities, galleries, cafes and parks. A non-uniform environment gives a sense of vitality and diversity which will be the prerequisites for every successful location.
“Cities are breaking down old district boundaries, we are talking urban not suburban. Our future is about 24/7 living whether on the periphery of the city, or a residential tower in the CBD,” states Kitty. “The desire for this new concept in urban living is a trend transforming cities globally and one which is expected to continue, as time poor millennials and empty nesters seek both social and amenity convenience within the area they call home. It is this ambition of global thinking that we bring to the evolution of development in New Zealand, as we strive to have developers and investors follow suit.”
Sarah Harding, Knight Frank’s Asia Pacific Head of Residential, explains, “Our clients have embraced global trends and aligned these to growth and demand, which has seen the emergence of true mixed-use projects offering scale and diversification.” The creative thinking of Crown Resorts and developer Schiavello has led to a vertical neighbourhood with Melbourne’s One Queensbridge; a world-class true mixed-use 90 storey sky scraper, with a luxury rooftop bar and dining area, a full suite of resort facilities, entertainment complex and retail, connecting this tower to the people and the city.
Looking ahead, Auckland’s population is projected to increase by an additional one million people by 2040, with 70 per cent growth projected to be within the current urban area. More than $5billion is to be spent on infrastructure in the next seven years across the city rail link, waste water and transport. Coupled with population growth at its fastest in decades, this presents growing opportunity for true mixed-use developments across Auckland, bringing international thinking to the local market.
Gary Noland, Knight Frank’s National Director - Development Advisory, comments: “In reality, the clear majority of projects we are seeing developed in Auckland are not true mixed-use, but the use of the terminology reflects a clear shift in priority from city authorities, developers, occupiers and residents. The emergence of true mixed-use projects, offering investment of scale and diversification, is likely to see Auckland accelerate into a whole new era of development.”
This article appeared in the NBR's Investing in Property feature on Fri 5 May, 2017.
For further information, please contact:
Kitty Rothschild, National Director - Project Marketing
With a project marketing career of 22yrs that spans the globe, also establishing Project Marketing divisions in both Australia and New Zealand.
Gary Noland, National Director - Development Advisory
Involved in the creation and delivery of over $1billion of developments in New Zealand over the past 25 years.
Aleisha Stopforth, Head of Marketing and Communications