Building 'Mixed-Use Industrial' to Spur Economic Development

Ilana Preuss writes for Smart Growth America about the opportunity to integrate small-scale industrial uses into development—what's called mixed-use industrial real estate.

According to Preuss, cities are "seeing a resurgence of small, local producers who are harnessing low-cost technology and changing markets to sell hundreds and thousands of locally produced consumer products."

"These small-scale manufacturing business owners generally need dedicated production space of less than 5,000 square feet (often as little as 1,000 sq. ft), use clean technologies (think laser cutters), but need affordable, dedicated industrial/production space. They do not fit into office space because of noise, and most retail space is too expensive. So they often find marginal, cheap space at the fringes of our cities and survive on short-term leases or move far out into the suburbs."

"The time is ripe for policy change and private sector investment to create this kind of development. The demand for small-scale consumer goods and locally made custom goods are growing, while access to tools and technology gets cheaper. We need to provide affordable space for our local producers to grow their businesses in our city neighborhoods." 

The article goes on to describe two current examples defining the mixed-use industrial business model, the benefits of the model, and some of the policy changes that building mixed-use industrial will require.

Full Story: Economic Opportunity & Small-Scale Manufacturing

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