Mixed-Use Construction - Seko Construction

Mixed Use Construction

These days, there is more demand for a walkable and enjoyable community or environment– rather than the sprawling designs of times past. People no longer want to drive so far to where they need to go, for example. One of the ways that this demand can be sated is through mixed-use construction and mixed-use development.

These types of neighbourhoods help to promote socialization and community as well as fill the need for walkable areas. 

Read on to learn more about mixed-use construction and its uses, especially pertaining to the community.

What Is Mixed Use Construction?

So, what is mixed-use construction, exactly? Mixed-use construction, or mixed-use development as it is also often referred to, is an area– like a neighbourhood– that combines different establishments that serve different purposes.

Instead of only being an apartment block, for example, a mixed-use construction would be an apartment block with a dog park, green space, and included retail spaces like a grocery store. An easy way to determine if an area is a mixed-use construction or not is to ask yourself if the area is serving one purpose, or more than one.

If it is only serving a single purpose, then it cannot be considered to be a mixed-use development.

Mixed-use developments are gaining popularity in response to a new demand. These days, people want communities that are vibrant, convenient to their lifestyle, and walkable. A successful mixed-use development not only looks more attractive, through the use of green space and landscaping but will include shops or other components that make sense for residents’ day-to-day lives– such as a grocery or pet store.

Retail spaces such as these make it more convenient, as residents do not have to travel far from home in order to get what they need. A mixed-use development may only include a few components like these or could be a massive, sprawling construction.

Vertical Mixed-Use Development

There is more than one category of mixed-use development, and the first of these is a vertical mixed-use development. A vertical mixed-use development is what you may be thinking of first when you picture a mixed-use construction. It is a vertical building– hence the name– that contains the different components of a mixed-use construction. Vertical mixed-use developments combine different uses within the same building, rather than consisting of several buildings where different uses are separated. 

The typical vertical mixed-use development has more uses for retail on lower floors. These retail components are usually retail shops, restaurants, or other such commercial businesses. The upper floors of the building, however, are mostly reserved for more private uses. Some of these can be residential use, like apartments, as well as hotel rooms or office space.

Horizontal Mixed-Use Development 

The other category of mixed-use construction is known as a horizontal mixed-use development. So, what is the difference between vertical mixed-use construction, which we discussed above, and horizontal mixed-use development?

While vertical mixed-use construction is confined to one building, horizontal mixed-use construction takes a more spread-out and often sprawling approach. 

Horizontal mixed-use development is built on a parcel of land that has mixed-use zoning. This allows for a variety of land uses in one development project, so that the construction is not hindered by rules and regulations.

This kind of mixed-use development consists of single-use buildings, where each building contains something different– such as a standalone restaurant. Horizontal mixed-use construction has a mix of complimentary, integrated uses. These are easily walkable and located within a given tract of land, neighbourhood, or development project. 

Components of Mixed-Use Construction

There are many different components that can make up a mixed-use development site. This help to diversify the space and its purposes, so that it is not only functioning for one purpose– in which case, we could not actually consider it to be mixed-use construction. We will go over some of the main component types below. 


One of the common components that can be found in a mixed-use development is the residential component. This typically includes condos or apartment buildings, and could even include hotel rooms in some instances.

They can be implemented in either type of mixed-use construction blueprint– either horizontal or vertical.

Many of the other components in a mixed-use construction can be chosen based on the needs of those who will be inhabiting the residential portion of the construction. For instance, if it is a pet-friendly apartment complex, builders may include a pet store or dog park to satisfy residents.

All components can be determined based on the expected residents of the area. 


The recreational component is another that can often be found in mixed-use construction. Some of the things that can be included under this umbrella are a gym or a park where residents can go to enjoy the fresh air. A movie theatre is another recreational component that can be enticing for residents! 

Recreational components can be a big draw to mixed-use development, as they foster community. It can be promising for residents who are looking to live somewhere where they are able to enjoy themselves.

Plus, recreational components can help get residents out of their condos or apartment, rather than just staying inside. 


The third main component that is commonly seen in mixed-use construction is the retail space. Retail components can be retail stores such as a clothing stores– which is what we often think of when we think of retail space– but also shops like a deli or a grocery store.

Having retail spaces in your mixed-use development makes things more convenient for residents and truly caters to their everyday needs. This can be a big bonus for residents and can attract them to the space, especially if they have a hectic lifestyle where convenience is key!

How to Implement Mixed-Use Construction

There are many things that should be considered when looking into implementing mixed-use construction. For instance, you should be sure to identify opportunities to take advantage of existing infrastructure to reduce the need for new buildings.

You should also take a look at the real estate market to consider how viable the project is for the community you are building it. Another thing to do is to try and provide regulatory flexibility in regard to factors such as building height, lot coverage, and housing density. It can be challenging to implement mixed-use construction, but very worthwhile in the end!

Also Read – What is Design-Build Construction

Also Read – What is Commercial Construction

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an example of a mixed-use development?

A mixed-use development refers to a neighbourhood or other similar area that promotes both socialization and community. It does this by bringing visitors, employees, and residents together through the different establishments that are placed in the neighbourhood.

Some examples of mixed-use development are gyms, restaurants, shopping and retail areas, or bars. Typically, mixed-use development is a combination of these categories. 

What is the meaning of mixed-use?

When it comes to a development project, if it is referred to as mixed-use, then it provides multiple– at least more than one– use or purpose within a shared development area or a building. These do not always look the same. A mixed-use building or mixed-use development can be any combination of office, retail, medical, recreational, commercial, industrial, or housing components.

Sometimes a development will only contain a few of these components, and it can still be considered mixed-use construction. Other times, larger mixed-use developments may contain a blend of every single one of these components. 

What does mixed-use mean in planning?

If you are city planning, you may have heard the term mixed-use to refer to certain parcels of land that are being built on or developments that already exist but are being revamped. Mixed-use is a term that is used to describe a neighbourhood or other area, like a building, where socialization is promoted. It also has more than one use, hence the name mixed-use.

Mixed-use developments combine different uses and functions, such as residential, retail, and office space. A great example of this is a residential apartment complex that also includes shopping options on the property.

What is the purpose of mixed land use?

Mixed-use land can be used to build a mixed-use development. It is beneficial because it helps to increase local accessibility by reducing the distances needed to travel between residences and important destinations like shopping or the gym. Strategies that encompass changes to the physical environment also have the potential to increase the area’s attractiveness.

Of course, a mixed-use development– which can be built on mixed-use land– is a combination of many different functions, like residential use, retail use, and recreational use. It creates a more vibrant and walkable community, which there is more demand for these days.