Combination plays: Mixed-use property development is spreading across Europe, providing new solutions to increasingly complex problems
It was back in the 1920s when mixed-use emerged as a common model in urban design, aimed at offering maximum usability of space. Buildings with residential quarters and ground-floor retail space were the most common forerunners of today’s multi-purpose property concept, which has undergone several transformations over the years.
In the 1990s, zoning laws changed, with municipalities realising the benefits of combining work, housing and play areas. Today, several factors are powering multi-purpose developments. Millennials, for example, are demanding more sustainable real estate, while investors have a heightened need for risk diversification and portfolio flexibility. Interest in mixed-use has picked up during the pandemic, particularly in major European markets, such as Germany. As Andrew Angeli, head of European real assets research at CBRE Global Investors, says, the ongoing crisis has shown that separate districts and single uses have not worked effectively to serve loc