Photo by Apostolos Giontzis

Forget single-family homes, big backyards, and long commutes. Today’s house hunters are prioritizing walkability over suburban life. According to a 2023 survey from the National Association of Realtors, 85% of millennials and 92% of Gen Zers surveyed said they would pay a premium to live near parks, shops, and restaurants. Respondents associated walkability with a better quality of life, and the research backs them up: A 2023 University of California San Diego study found that adults who lived in walkable areas socialized more and had a stronger sense of community than people in car-dependent neighborhoods. 

On the West Coast, Figueroa Eight in Los Angeles is outfitted with 438 units and approximately 7,500 square feet of ground floor commercial spaces. Completed in 2023, the residential skyscraper aims to make vertical living feel even more desirable by offering onsite amenities like a dog park, coworking spaces, and a members-only social club. 

In Dallas, construction has officially begun on a four-acre, one-million-square-foot mixed-use development on Knox Street. Set to open in 2026, it will include retail and office space, a multifamily building, restaurants, and a park next to the Katy Trail, the old railroad line known as the Missouri-Kansas-Texas railway in the 1880s. The development will also feature a 140-room hotel and The Knox Residences, a collection of 48 luxurious condominiums with interiors designed by Chad Dorsey. 

In St. Louis, Wildhorse Village is an 80-acre mixed-use oasis being developed around a 15-acre lake. In addition to single-family homes, apartments, condos, and townhomes, the development will feature nearly one million square feet of retail, office, and restaurant space. The waterfront, accessible to both residents and the general public, includes a boathouse, an amphitheater, a boardwalk and public art.

Across the United States, mixed-use developments are continuing to pop up in urban centers, making it easier than ever for individuals to foster a sense of community and connectedness…all within just steps of home.

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  1. At the University of Connecticut in Storrs, part of Mansfield, CT they have recently built out a mixed-use development in what was the rural confines of Eastern CT. Rolling hills have been developed into a European style community for housing the burgeoning student body who live above the shops and resturants below. Seems like it has been a well received success after just a few years.

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