In urban areas and in many suburban areas, when new construction goes up, more and more often it’s multi-family and when retail is involved, it’s mixed use. The trend is being driven by the baby boomers who are now empty-nesters, and by millennials. For baby boomers, the care-free lifestyle of apartment living is appealing after raising the kids in a single-family home giving them more disposable income to spend on dining out, entertainment and travel. For millennials, “urban-style” living that is walkable to shopping, dining and fitness amenities is the draw. In both cases, mixed use development works.
Right now, a major trend in mixed use development is the luxury lifestyle, which integrates high-end finishes in the homes, resort-style amenities within the community, and specialty retail throughout the property that’s unique, personal and health-oriented. A great example of a project offering luxury, convenience and amenities is The Promenade at Upper Dublin, a new development in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The surrounding trade area has an affluent population that lifestyle retailers require.
For developer BET Investments, the location was ideal. Within a 10-minute drive time there are 131,842 residents; 10M square feet of office space with a daytime population of over 218,000; average household incomes of $114,000 and, most impressively, 20,849 households with incomes over $100,000. Affluent consumers living in nearby communities of single family homes offer a wealth of shoppers and diners.
For retailers, the Promenade provides retail traffic at all hours of the day due to a robust employee population for daytime errands and fast-casual lunches with co-workers, and affluent residents who are drawn to walkable mixed-use developments and want to bike to yoga, walk to a grocery store and stroll to their favorite restaurant for dinner with friends. BET Investment has all required permits for construction starting in July with a projected opening in Fall 2020. The Promenade will be anchored by a national natural foods grocer as well as recreational outfitter REI and Redstone Grill. They and other lifestyle brands will complement the shopping and dining habits of the Promenade at Upper Dublin’s residents and enhance the luxury lifestyle the community offers. Like any successful development, the key to a thriving mixed-use property is finding the right mix. Today the right mix includes local boutiques, specialty spa and fitness uses, doggie daycare and a healthy dose of full service and casual food options in an innovatively designed, open air environment.