The Benefits of Mixed-Use Commercial Real Estate Developments

Katie Thompson
Last Updated: June 20, 2023

Mixed-use commercial real estate developments have been gaining popularity in recent years, as they offer a unique blend of residential, commercial, and recreational spaces within a community. Civil design plays a significant role in the development of mixed-use spaces, offering numerous benefits that enhance their functionality, aesthetics, and overall success.

These developments are designed to create vibrant, sustainable neighborhoods where residents can live, work, and play without needing to leave the area. We will explore the numerous benefits of civil design in mixed-use commercial developments for investors, residents, businesses, and communities.

Investor Benefits of Mixed-Use Developments

Efficient Land Utilization

Mixed-use spaces combine several types of land uses, such as residential, commercial, and recreational, within a single development. Civil design optimizes land utilization by carefully planning and integrating these diverse uses. Civil engineers assess the site's characteristics, topography, and infrastructure requirements to determine the most effective layout and configuration. By efficiently using available land, civil design maximizes the potential of mixed-use spaces and supports their economic viability.


Mixed-use properties offer both residential and commercial spaces, allowing investors to limit risk exposure. This diversification can lead to higher income, cash flow, longer leases, and less competition.

Steadier Income Stream

Mixed-use developments are less susceptible to changes in the market, as there is always a demand for the various types of uses they offer. For example, even if the office market in a particular area softens, a mixed-use property’s retail and residential components will still be in demand.

Increased Foot Traffic and Visibility

Businesses renting commercial space in a mixed-use development can benefit from increased foot traffic and visibility. People visiting the retail or residential components of the property will also be exposed to the businesses located there.

Extended Hours of Operation 

Businesses located in mixed-use properties often have the advantage of offering extended hours of operation, as they are not limited by the hours of operation of the other components of the property.

Campio Brewing NHL Playoff Patio

Resident and Community Benefits of Mixed-Use Developments


Tenant residents may appreciate the convenience of having retail and other services located within the same building or complex as their home. This can save them time and money by eliminating the need to travel to separate locations for these unique needs.

Sense of Community

Mixed-use developments can create a sense of community within the building or complex, as residents can interact with each other daily. The design of public plazas, parks, and gathering spaces, provide residents, workers, and visitors opportunities to connect, socialize, and engage in various activities. This vibrant atmosphere supports local businesses, enhances community cohesion, and creates a sense of place.

Smart Growth

Mixed-use developments promote efficient land use, preserving historic and natural resources. They also embody smart growth principles by concentrating development in one area, reducing the need for car ownership and reliance on fossil fuels.

Enhanced Connectivity and Accessibility

Civil design plays a crucial role in creating well-connected and accessible mixed-use spaces. Civil engineers design road networks, pedestrian walkways, and transportation infrastructure to ensure smooth traffic flow and safe movement within the development. They also consider accessibility requirements, including the integration of ramps, elevators, and other features that facilitate universal access. These design elements contribute to the convenience and attractiveness of mixed-use spaces for residents, visitors, and businesses.


Mixed-use developments can spur revitalization in struggling areas and spur economic development. They can also enhance traditional village centers and promote a sense of place. Civil design plays a significant role in shaping the visual appeal of mixed-use spaces. Civil engineers consider elements such as landscaping, street furniture, lighting, and architectural integration to create aesthetically pleasing environments. By incorporating cohesive design principles, civil engineering enhances the overall ambiance and attractiveness of mixed-use spaces, contributing to their desirability and marketability.

Pedestrian and Bicycle-Friendly

By limiting car usage and street congestion, mixed-use communities minimize air pollution and promote energy conservation. They also encourage pedestrian and bicycle travel, promoting a healthier lifestyle for residents. Other sustainable practices include civil design that incorporates sustainable development practices into mixed-use spaces, considering environmental, social, and economic factors. Civil engineers implement strategies to reduce environmental impact, such as stormwater management techniques, green building practices, and energy-efficient design. They also consider the social aspect by creating pedestrian-friendly environments, public spaces, and amenities that enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors. Through sustainable design, civil engineering contributes to the long-term viability and resilience of mixed-use spaces.

Bike Lane in Oliver, Edmonton

Economic Impact

Attracting and retaining businesses, workers, consumers, and investors through mixed-use developments will make our local economy appealing and resilient. It can provide a range of spaces and facilities for multiple types of businesses, from small shops and cafes to offices and studios.

Mixed-use commercial developments offer a multitude of benefits for investors, residents, businesses, and communities. By creating spaces where people can live, work, and play all in one place, these developments contribute to the creation of vibrant, sustainable neighborhoods that promote economic growth and improve the overall quality of life. As cities continue to prioritize walkability and diverse amenities, mixed-use developments will continue to grow in popularity and demand.

Integrated Infrastructure Systems

Mixed-use spaces often require integrated infrastructure systems to meet the diverse needs of different land uses. Civil engineers design and coordinate the installation of water supply, sewage, electrical, and other utility networks to efficiently serve the development. By carefully integrating these systems, civil design ensures that each component of the mixed-use space has access to necessary resources, supporting the smooth operation of businesses, residences, and recreational facilities.

The Path Forward

Bolson Engineering and Environmental Services is passionate about development. Civil design plays a significant role in the development of mixed-use spaces, offering numerous benefits that enhance their functionality, aesthetics, and overall success. We have partnered with developers across Alberta to streamline their residential and commercial developments. Have a vision? Let us engineer your ideas. Contact us.

About the author

With more than 12 years in human resources, Katie brings important process management skills to the table. Her direct experience with senior management in the construction industry helps her understand your engineering project goals. Her creative forward-thinking propels Bolson toward exciting new business opportunities.

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