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Mixed-use development growth continues in South Florida amid pandemic

'Nothing else compared to this,' Uptown Boca resident says
Uptown Boca
Posted at 4:34 PM, May 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-14 18:34:57-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Commercial development continues to boom in Florida, but depending on where you live, mixed-use developments are also on the climb.

Experts say they will only increase in a post-pandemic economy. The mixed-use concept diversifies assets for tenants, developers and investors.

Davis Payne, an Uptown Boca resident, is 22 years old and in graduate school.

Davis Payne, Uptown Boca resident
Davis Payne is a resident of Uptown Boca.

"I would rather live here than in a dorm," Payne said. "The health food options around and the gym is unbelievable."

He can also work or study at a co-working lounge, take a break in the game room or de-stress with a retail break, located steps from his residence.

"Nothing else compared to this, honestly," Payne said.

"You don't have to leave your house here," Maria Roddenberry, property manager at The Residences at Uptown Boca.

Brian Schmier is the CEO for Schmier Property Group, a builder responsible for the retail portion of Uptown Boca.

Brian Schmier, Schmier Property Group
Brian Schmier speaks about the retail portion of Uptown Boca.

Uptown Boca is considered a retail and Class-A multifamily development and lifestyle center for a "shop, dine, live" experience.

The development officially announced this week the opening of its retail shops and the completion of all residential buildings.

"Late summer, early fall we should have another eight or nine tenants open for business," said Brian Schmier of Schmier Property Group CEO. "We're delivering the same vision we had day one."

Tom Essaye of Sevens Report Research said you'll find more mix-use developments in West Palm Beach and other parts of South Florida.

"Mixed-use is just a synonym for flexible space where you can have offices, retail, hotels all in the same structure. And what that does it lets developers essentially kind of spread out the risk depending on where societal trends are going," Essaye said.

Experts say not being solely reliant on one type of tenant not only diversifies assets for developers and investors but also the person or family looking for convenience.

"It's not just millennials. That's a myth frankly," Essaye said.

"Going to school down here with this -- it's unbelievable. It's unreal," added Payne.

There's clearly a high demand for these developments. The retail portion of Uptown Boca is nearly 100 percent leased.