Given its rise in popularity over the past few decades, the concept of live-work-play neighborhoods has naturally come to be associated with a few misconceptions.
Although mixed-use communities present a lifestyle option that is uniquely suited to the modern day, some balk at the term because of how it was first presented. We’d like to clear up the confusion and have a chat all about the benefits of settling into a live-work-play environment.
“It’s Just a Storefront With Homes Above”
Technically, it is this, but it isn’t only this. Far from it. The coexistence of commercial and residential spaces is much more bespoke than this simplification makes it sound. The idea was never to smoosh a bunch of multiuse real estate together for the sake of profit. Rather, developers saw this as an opportunity for an ever-changing workforce. Today, 42% of people work from home and 582 million people worldwide are entrepreneurs.
A live-work-play community makes it possible for a passionate artist or fervent investor to set up shop just a few minutes from their front door—seamlessly integrating the personal life and career they love into the ideal day-to-day.
Additionally, creativity abounds among the architects of mixed-use developments. The various parts of a community are not always vertically stacked.
“Every Mixed-Use Community Is Trying To Be Like the Big City”
Some people believe that live-work-play neighborhoods are designed to increase bustle. While they do indeed prove a thriving place for small businesses and experiential entertainment and dining, mixed-use communities are not meant to mimic city living. Nor do they quite fit into the suburban category. They offer a new possibility that lies in between.
While many find the noises and smells of a city undesirable, others find the commutes and decline of nightlife in suburbia just as unappealing. In an age where balance—a bit of it all—is more the mantra than either extreme, the live-work-play model plays the perfect notes.
Mixed-use communities do not strive to be like cities, for they embody many of suburbia’s best qualities—open spaces, connection to nature, and the option to live slow—as well. The goal is to combine those with the walkability, refinement of activities, and social aspects of urban life.
“Living Near Industry and Commerce Is Unhealthy”
In the forgone decades of smog-filled manufacture, this may have been true. But the picture of “industry and commerce” in the United States has changed significantly. Today, we have moved from an era of manufacturing to one of service. Businesses are now focused on providing skills and specialties.
Because of this important shift, the perception that it is unsafe to live in close proximity to business is entirely outdated. In the past, such a location certainly could have exposed one to toxic fumes or runoff. But in 2020, residing next-door to industry is more likely to mean that you call a baker or stylist your neighbor.
To get a better sense of modern-day live-work-play neighborhoods, check out a few of the most beloved ones:
Nexton in Summerville, South Carolina
Lenox Village in Nashville, Tennessee
Village of Providence in Huntsville, Alabama
And of course, we must make mention of our very own mixed-use neighborhood. Here at Upper East River, our homes are tucked within the tranquility of a residential community, but within walking distance of our lively amenity center, the Geo. Meyer House, the stunning riverfront, and all of the shopping, dining, and entertainment of Eastern Wharf and Downtown Savannah.