When it comes to a mixed-use building, having the right retail in place is key – but how do you decide what that is? According to a recent piece in MultiFamilyExecutive (MFE) online, it’s as simple as finding the concept that people will enjoy. Sounds simple, but as with anything, there’s a bit more to it than that. We boil down what MFE advises may be hot – or not – for your property when considering retail for your mixed-use property.

Their main take-away is doing the research and finding what will do well in your property. They advise to stay current with what your residents and those in the area will enjoy and make use of, and help your building thrive. As the article points out, you want a retail establishment that will fit with the style of your building and your residents. They use the example of putting a fast-food restaurant in a luxury residential building. That wouldn’t be the most ideal fit; however, to continue the example, finding a good fit with an upscale eatery might work better. There are also some retail options that seem to be tried-and-true successes, such as having a popular coffee shop. According to the MFE piece, java-lovers seem to ensure that a coffee spot in your building may be enjoyed across the board. Big names coffee shops are still popular, but unique, eclectic coffee shops are also starting to trend – so finding the right fit for your building is important.

Unique coffee shops aren’t the only retail business straying from the big names: according to MFE, there is currently a push for non-traditional, local, and authentic retail. The MFE piece notes that across the country casual dining is seeing a large demand, and unique dining spots are increasing in popularity. Your property could end up scoring big if you give residents a new and savory option in casual dining that they can’t find around the corner. They notice that both food and service retail (like laundromats, banks, etc) will always be useful and in demand; depending on your property and options, you could give tenants and local residents both convenience and new experiences.

One other major option for retail space is the fitness studio. With fitness space you have options from yoga, to Pilates, to Crossfit, Zumba, and beyond. According to the MFE article, being able to fit in your work-out where you live is a major time-saver and convenience for residents, and will remain a big draw to those who live in these urban centers. Most people who don’t work out often blame their busy schedules; but if they can go home and hit a popular fitness class in their building, you’ve given them a solution to a very common problem!

The MFE piece says that the real challenge is in finding what concept will work in your building and in your area. You are looking to help create an inviting, appealing property and be part of adding value to your urban center. By finding the right fit for your property, you’ll appeal to a diverse group of both existing residents and draw new area residents into your building. By doing the leg-work and research and acquiring the right retailers, your mixed-use property will be more inviting and more successful.