Advantages of Locating Office Product in Mixed-Use Neighborhoods

Our latest study focuses on the ascension of urban mixed-use development as the preferred environment for the modern office. This report, produced on behalf of the NoMa Business Improvement District in Washington D.C, examines trends in mixed-use office development, and explores its future implications. To understand these trends, we prepared a case study analysis of seven mixed-use districts to measure successes against comparable Commercial Business Districts.


Office rents in new, urban mixed-use districts are highly competitive with nearby established central business districts.

Our data analysis found that mixed-use development has become the standard for office development in many urban centers because employees want access to convenient services near their work. Furthermore, employers desire these mixed-use areas in order to attract a talented workforce. Interviews with 19 developers, financiers, brokers, and tenants helped explore the causes and implications of the trends in the data, and examined the benefit the office sector receives from locating in mixed-use districts.


Developing new mixed-use areas is challenging because of the risks associated with bringing new uses to an untested market.

Cities and improvement districts that foster mixed-use areas will have a competitive advantage that will be difficult to erode. Interviews emphasized the importance of the public realm and the bottom floor of buildings in successful mixed-use districts, elements municipalities can control or influence. The streetscape and the ground floor of buildings have an impact on the resulting urban spaces that should be attractive, inviting, and have the distinct sense-of-place employees and residents desire.


Read the full white paper below, and find out more about Washington DC’s NoMa neighborhood here.