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RLA 240663

Newsletter web 2Due to the continual decrease of available space for new developmentsand the desire to use existing assets more efficiently, refurbishing and conversion of existing, end of life cycle buildings into modern, mixed use, energy efficient buildings will no doubt gain in popularity and be much more commonplace in the near future. Mixed use will also be considered as an option with brand new projects because of growing environmental concerns and the attractiveness of cost sharing for up-keep and maintenance, among other things.

Planning to create multi-purpose, environment integrated residential, retail and commercial use in one building or complex is definitely a step forward in making the CBD more desirable, sustainable, and productive. Increased density benefits everyone and should be encouraged by local Authorities. The convenience of having certain businesses nearby would suit residents well and contribute to reducing commuting times and traffic congestion. Businesses would benefit from running their operation from a prime location, having customers virtually right on their doorstep.

To maintain a successful and trouble-free coexistence, developers and investors have many challenges and obstacles to overcome.   The ownership structure alone could add to the complexity of the problem. Combine this with the uniqueness and physical limitations of the existing space and we have a situation which would demand a tailored, innovative one of a kind approach to management. Creativity and a strong dose of common sense and respect for and from all end users is an essential component in making this a viable arrangement.

The commercial real estate professional has two main objectives when dealing with mixed use properties. From the leasing aspect, they must select the right tenants, keeping in mind that the tenant mix for such an environment must be compatible. From a property management aspect, they must be vigilant in ensuring that rules, regulations and bylaws introduced to regulate behavior in such a tenancy blend are understood and respected.

From our perspective, concerns and complaints are most likely to arise from potentially incompatible working hours including after-hours access, OH&S concerns, security, parking and commercial loading areas, pollution and waste management, complaint handling procedures and the logistics of organizing repairs and maintenance.  

Parking and Loading Zones – This matter is not just about conforming to local council regulations regarding the allocation of a certain number of parking spaces per unit for customers, patrons and visitors. If there are no internal mechanisms and procedures in place to ensure that parking and loading zones are used by whom and in the manner for which they were designed, a first point of contact commercial property manager could be overwhelmed with complaints that they have no authority or system in place to deal with.

Pollution – When it comes to pollution it is very important to keep in mind that this could take many forms including noise, light, odour, dust, smoke or excessive heat. All businesses generating such a discharge at levels considered excessive should be assessed for suitability before leasing space in this challenging environment.

Complaint handling procedures – The ownership structure will play a large role in determining the way in which complaints are handled.   Before any action is undertaken regarding a complaint, the commercial property manager needs to have a clear understanding of who is involved in any decision making and what their responsibilities are (Including Strata, Community Corporation, Tenant Association, etc.).

Scheduling maintenance or repairs – Mixed use buildings are occupied and in use around the clock. For this reason, organizing work requires a sensitive and respectful approach. This includes ensuring that all tenants are aware of the time and date of any planned work and that they are informed in writing whenever possible. It is also recommended that log books are used to keep a track of all alterations and modifications to any main building systems.

Our common sense – Key to your success