In New York, for example, “it’s getting harder and harder to do office construction,” Seymour Durst, chief administrative officer of the Durst Organization, told The New York Times. “Housing is so much more valuable now; even in Midtown, it’s taking over.”
City planners are turning to developments in Asia as recent inspiration. Areas such as Tokyo have become a leader in mixed-use development. Three of Tokyo’s tallest towers, all of which exceed 780 feet, feature shops and restaurants below condominiums and hotels.
The improving job market has created demand for new office space, but the sector isn’t able to keep up with the stronger demand for housing. So the two are combining forces. A development in New York called Eos, for example, has 375 rental apartments as well as more than 122,000 square feet of office space and 49,000 square feet of retail space. Residents and workers have separate lobbies, elevators and terraces. “The housing definitely makes the commercial more feasible,” says Durst.
A Brookings Institution study found that walkable, mixed-use developments could even possibly help to reduce the effects of disabilities many face as they age.
Christopher Leinberger, a developer based in Washington, D.C. and a professor at the George Washington University School of Business, told The New York Times that some developers for retirement buildings are now looking for dense, urban or town-centered sites where services and social features are accessible.“The model used to be to isolate old people on cul-de-sacs backing up to a golf course,” Leinberger says. “The new model just beginning to rise is for walkable urban places.”
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