Mixed-Use Developments Quadruple Compared to a Decade Ago

Insights on the nationwide live-work-play trend from RentCafe.com’s new report.

Demand for live-work-play apartments, also known as mixed-use developments, has risen in the past decade, fueled by the blending of work and personal life, according to a new report from RentCafe.com.

Renters’ needs have changed significantly in the past years, particularly during the pandemic, with the rise in popularity of work from home blurring the lines between work and personal life. This demand for having everything close-at-hand fueled the spike in live-work-play developments, a concept that brings three of the most important aspects of our lives under one roof: living, working and entertainment. In fact, 2020 was the peak year for these types of developments, with 49,100 live-work-play units completed.

10-Year Evolution of Apartments in Live-Work-Play Developments. Chart and data courtesy of RentCafe

According to the RentCafe analysis of Yardi Matrix data, the yearly supply of LWP apartments quadrupled in the last 10 years, going from a mere 10,000 in 2012 to an impressive 43,700 in 2021. Additionally, live-work-play represents more than 10 percent of today’s apartment homes, a spectacular leap from just 2 percent before 2012.

Nationwide, there are approximately 580,000 such units presently, with a majority located in high-density urban areas. Manhattan apartments represent one-fifth of this total, counting no less than 89,500 live-work-play apartments. At the same time, apartments in Washington D.C. take the lead in construction in the past decade, boasting a whopping 17,300 apartments in mixed-use buildings completed since 2012.

There seems to be no slowing down for the live-work-play movement, mostly popular among young Millennials searching for a tight-knit, convenient and environmentally friendly community. The #1 hotspot for future projects, Los Angeles, is a popular destination for young renters. Here, there are 17,600 apartments on this type in the works. Next is Miami, with 15,900 units, closely followed by 15,800 rentals in Chicago, in mixed-use buildings under construction.

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