Mixed-Use Multifamily Property Owners Have Faith in Retail

The best choices to ride out the COVID-19 crisis are ‘pandemic-resistant’ uses that focus on convenience.

Some mixed-use multifamily property owners say they aren’t giving up on retail in their developments but are focused on “pandemic-resistant” convenience- and service-based offerings.


The Beach Co.―which is developing mixed-use projects across the Southeast, including the Jasper in Charleston, S.C., and River Rock in Chattanooga, Tenn.―is keeping retail and/or office components despite some of the negative forecasts, said Tom Stockdale, director of commercial asset management.

Exterior of Modera Central, a 350-unit, mixed-use property in Orlando, Fla., featuring ground-floor retail. Image courtesy of Mill Creek Residential

While some retail users are struggling, Stockdale said beauty salons, fitness studios and boutiques are a “natural pairing between multifamily and retail because they complement the live-play experience.” Established retailers or restaurateurs with a successful business model and proven track record also make solid tenants.

Patrick McCormick, vice president, retail asset management for Mill Creek Residential, said it varies by market, but convenience options work best and are considered an extension of amenity spaces.

“Restaurants, grocery/convenience, fitness, pet care and experiential are the retail groups that we have found the most success with,” he said. “Although COVID-19 has had an incredible impact on retail around the world, we believe these categories will be successful once we make it to the other side.”

Tenants at Mill Creek’s 350-unit Modera Central in Orlando, Fla., include DGX, Dollar General’s urban convenience concept; La Boulangerie, a French bakery; and Trophy Room, am experiential clothing and shoe store.


Sector Insights rotates among market rate/luxury housing, workforce housing, low-income housing, student housing, senior housing and mixed-use.

Read the December 2020 issue of MHN.

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