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Town centers are trending in communities across the country. These mixed-use complexes have a variety of features that make them attractive to young professionals, families and seniors. Town centers marry apartments, condos or townhouses to commercial office space and retail shops while providing recreational areas to offer the convenience of city living in suburban areas.
Many developers and architects support town centers. Unlike suburban sprawl with acres upon acres of space between houses and shops, town centers promote the concept of proximity as a profitable and attractive real estate design principle. While some town centers date back to the mid- to late-1990s, it was not until the 2000s that such centers were embraced on a wide scale. According to LMN Architects, which piloted the development of Redmond Town Center in Oregon, lifestyle trends that reflect the pressures of modern society have created a demand for town centers.
Here are some of the reasons why town centers are growing in popularity and why one may be coming to a town near you.
Casual interaction: Town centers provide common areas where residents and visitors can gather and spend time together. This fosters a more relaxed and homey feel than congregating in a mall anchored by department stores.
Recreation: Recreational opportunities for active people attracts many people to town centers. Centers may include park land, walking paths, fountains, bandstands for local performers, rooms to embrace the arts, and/or pools.
Travelers passing through may be enticed by the offerings of town centers, making them more inclined to stop for a bite to eat or to do some shopping in these communities.”
Mixed retail: Town centers frequently feature a mix of national retailers and small mom-and-pop shops. This helps to create a “Main Street” vibe in the community.
Housing options: Living within a town center enables residents to have amenities right outside their doors. Housing complexes attached to retail stores and recreational areas ensures residents that something to do is never too far away.
Attracts visitors: Travelers passing through may be enticed by the offerings of town centers, making them more inclined to stop for a bite to eat or to do some shopping in these communities.
Nearby schools: Schools may be included in the blue prints of town center projects to accommodate families. Individuals who reside and socialize within the center will have the luxury of sending their children to the same school.
Transit hub: Some town centers are built around a train or bus station, offering residents easy access to mass transit.
Town centers located in suburban areas represent a way to infuse close-knit, urban-style living outside of big cities.