Designing for small mixed-use lots encompasses an array of opportunities for the end-user, and can parallel a city’s development goals. If you consider the Near Southside neighborhood in Fort Worth, it provides an excellent example of this type of design.
If you’re not familiar with mixed-use design, these types of buildings typically feature a business (retail, medical, professional) on the ground floor, and offer apartments on the second floor. The rental income from the apartments can assist the owner in paying for their building.
Small mixed-use lots have their own challenges including building orientation, pedestrian/vehicle movement, tenant requirements, and code interpretations – to name a few. Despite some of the challenges, the smaller lot parameters still allow for design diversity, and do not necessarily limit the arrangement or orientation of the building.
Are there any advantages to working with smaller mixed-use lots? One major advantage of this type of development is ownership by small businesses. In other words, they can be tailored to the growing housing demand while accommodating smaller business entities.
The City of Fort Worth’s current economic development plan is to:
- Become a hub for creative businesses by establishing a new Southside medical innovation district, nurture entrepreneurship in the city, better promote the arts, and establish a “futures forum” as a formal working group.
- Ensure community vitality by accelerating Downton Fort Worth as the premier mixed-use business district in Texas, align neighborhood assets and restructure small business assistance.
We believe this type of development has the ability to help support these goals. For example, we developed the Oleander building in 2005, when mixed-use buildings were not thoroughly understood by local codes.
As we developed the Jennings and Galveston buildings, the parking requirements had decreased, and allowed for more density. However, building use had to be considered. And now that we’ve turned the page to 2019, tma-cha architects has designed 13 mixed-use buildings – both small and large in size.
Are you curious if a smaller lot can work for you? Have you considered a mixed-use building? We would be happy to sit down with you and answer any questions you might have about this type of design.