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Category: Capital Markets, Net Lease Retail Tags: placemaking

What is Placemaking?

The concept of placemaking has been around for many years, gaining heavy buzz in the last five years. Placemaking is the process of transforming an ordinary public space into an area that provides inspiration, pleasure, and creativity to improve people’s lives in the surrounding community. In addition, placemaking focuses on integrating function with enjoyment by being built around mixed-use apartments or office buildings. The benefits of placemaking are plenty, but the main goal is to encourage people to stay in the area longer and return more frequently.


Placemaking involves both building the structure and creating the environment. The concept is all about creating synergy between function and pleasure. 


Placemaking Structures

  • Plazas
  • Alleyways
  • Parks


Examples of Placemaking Concepts

  • Pop-up shops
  • Flea markets
  • Food festivals
  • Yoga on the lawn
  • Concerts


Why is Placemaking Profitable?

Ever since the pandemic, people have sought experience; however, many are not willing to travel long distances to do so. Therefore, mixed-use development and spaces with placemaking concepts offer residents the opportunity to enjoy different activities nearby where they live or work. Additionally, placemaking can drive an asset’s value by providing amenities that a simple apartment complex would not have. Placemaking structures or areas also attract developers to build offices, retail storefronts, or apartment buildings nearby. The opportunity to experience new activities or meet people in the local community by visiting placemaker properties attracts long-term residents. In addition, placemade developments can also be recession-resistant assets because they offer income from various avenues.


David Perry, Senior Managing Director at Hines East Region, “The primary goal is to have this space and the way we program and design it be a reason why you’d pay more to have your office here or to live here.” 


Implementing Placemaking into Your Investment

To create a space that is both productive and enjoyable, it is key to team up with artists, developers, local officials, and engineers before starting a placemaking project. It is crucial to first research the existing infrastructure and activities in an area, as well as who is living there. Knowing the surrounding demographics is a great first step to deciding what to develop. A successful placemaking development reflects the culture of the community. Additionally, working with city officials to build out the space will benefit the layout, design, and included amenities. City officials know the ins and outs of the landscape and residents, which will help build your project’s efficiency.


Placemaking’s Future

As mixed-use developments continue to pop up around the country, residents can anticipate placemaking playing a major role in attracting people to live in certain communities. Placemaking offers the highest possible use of a property. Overall, the goal of placemaking is to not only attract residents but make them stick around.

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