Thursday, August 6, 2015

Multi-Use is not Mixed-Use

We've been through this before, but it's kinda my pet peeve, so here we go again. Steve Brown, real estate editor of The Dallas Morning News, breaks this news:
The new shopping center in the works at Richardson’s $1.5 billion CityLine development is getting a second phase. Developers of the project at the northeast corner of Plano and Renner roads have filed plans with the City of Richardson to add more than 20,000 square feet to the retail center which is already under construction. It's part of the 186-acre mixed-use development that includes State Farm Insurance's 4-story regional office campus.
Source: Steve Brown.

What don't I like about this? It's Steve Brown's use of the term "mixed-use." Misuse to my way of thinking. Mixed-use developments don't have traditional, 1980s-style shopping centers. They don't have "shopping centers" of any kind. At best, CityLine is "multi-use," not "mixed-use." Mixed-use requires the multiple uses (multi-family, retail, office, etc.) to be vertically integrated in the same building (you know, apartments above shops, for example). It's that integration that achieves the compactness that's necessary to make a city walkable. No one is going to be walking to this CityLine shopping center. It's cars-only. Even the photo the News uses shows the parked cars front and center and hint at an ocean of parking off to the side. For the Richardson residents who opposed this development because of the anticipated traffic it will bring, it turns out they were right. CityLine is being designed for cars, not people. That's a huge missed opportunity that will plague Richardson for decades. Sigh.

P.S. I don't know why Steve Brown doesn't get this.

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