Mixed-Use Developments: The Integration of Retail, Residential, and Office Spaces

David Shulick

As communities evolve with modern society, mixed-use developments have grown in popularity in recent years. These developments integrate retail, residential, and office spaces within one building to allow residents ample space to live, work, and play. These flexible spaces offer a variety of businesses the opportunity to establish a retail space with a built-in audience. David Shulick takes a look at how these integrated spaces restore communities.

Mixed-Use Developments Explained

The University of Delaware notes that a mixed-use development is building or series of connected buildings, all pedestrian-friendly (i.e., within walking distance), that combine one or more of the following uses: residential, cultural, industrial, commercial, and/or institutional.

Urban planners design these to not only serve residents by providing housing but also to generate revenue for local businesses. At a time when people are fleeing cities in part due to the pandemic and the rising cost of living, mixed-use developments can provide an urban-like living environment in an otherwise suburban or even rural locale.

How Mixed-Use Developments Can Benefit Communities

The onslaught of COVID-19 proved the need for flexible retail and office options that can be available close to home. Commonly, these spaces offer better return on investment that single-use spaces, particularly as our culture faces a decline in city dwelling, in-person retail purchases, and full-time office work. These developments can keep communities thriving with their flexibility, 24/7 access, communal spaces, curated experiences, and resilience.

Examples of Retail Options for Mixed Use-Developments

The possibilities for retail businesses in mixed-use developments are endless. But some make more sense than others when it comes to taking advantage of the built-in audience of building residents.

Vended Laundry Facilities

Perhaps the most practical option for a retail space within a mixed-use development is a vended laundry facility. A business that offers self-service commercial-grade laundry machines will be a direct benefit to the residents of the development, not to mention other community members that might travel to the facility to use it too.

Gym and Exercise Spaces

Residents would benefit from exercising at a gym or other health and fitness business like a yoga or Pilates studio within the mixed-use development. Memberships could even be offered at a discount to residents to encourage their solicitation of the business. Plus, such exercise spaces offer a natural area for the community to socialize.

David Shulick

Restaurants, Coffee Shops, and Cafes

These spaces would see daily patronage from residents, particularly those looking for a quick bite to eat or easy place to meet up with friends close to home.

Art Gallery or Creative Space

An art gallery or other creative space like a pottery or glass-blowing studio would not only benefit from the built-in audience of the development residents, but also bring a much needed does of creativity and culture to the growing community.


The increase in mixed-use developments marked by the integration of retail, residential, and office spaces points toward a future that is more flexible, community-oriented, culturally conscious, and hopefully sustainable for generations to come.

Exploring Ancillary Services in Vended Laundries

David Shulick

Vended laundries provide professional-grade, high-quality washer and dryer units available to customers at the touch of a button or the drop of a coin to clean clothes, towels, bedsheets, and other linens. But these facilities can house more than just laundry machines. In fact, there are several ways to expand such a business and offer enhanced services to customers. David Shulick explores examples of ancillary services in vended laundries.

Examples of Ancillary Services in Vended Laundries

The possibilities for ancillary services in vended laundries are nearly endless, limited only by one’s imagination! These added services can offer additional revenue to the laundry business through direct additional purchases, and by keeping customers occupied and entertained and therefore present at the business for a longer period of time. Below are just a few suggestions of such products.

Additional Payment Options / Credit Card Machines

The days of old-school coin purses may finally be over! Installing credit and debit card machines or even additional electronic payment options like smart phone apps such as Apple Pay, Zelle, PayPal, or Venmo can provide ease and flexibility to customers who may not want to carry a stack of quarters. This added option could be a huge draw to younger customers looking for more accessible, high-tech options.

Coin or Change Machines

For those who still want to pay with coins or cash, vended laundries should consider installing a few coin machines so that customers can exchange for the exact change they need to operate their machine of choice. Remember, vended laundries were once called “coin laundries” for a reason.

On-Site Laundry Furniture

Customers need a place to sort and fold their laundry once it comes out of the machine. Tables and bins for sorting are a thoughtful and efficient addition to a vended laundry facility, providing a solution for customers from beginning to end. Comfortable chairs for waiting are also a must.

Vending Machines

Small conveniences can go a long way for customers waiting for their next load of laundry to complete. Vending machines can provide vended laundry customers with a variety of snack and beverage options for them to enjoy as they wait. Plus, these machines can provide an added bit of profit for the business owner. One might also consider serving coffee.

David Shulick

Entertainment Options

Much of a customer’s time at a vended laundry is spent waiting for their clothes to complete a cycle. The business can provide entertainment solutions like televisions, arcade games, and wireless internet to keep customers busy and engaged without leaving the premises. Books and magazines available for free or for purchase would also be a lovely, personalized touch for guests looking to minimize their screen time.

In Conclusion

Vended laundries can provide customers more than just access to high quality washers and dryers; they can be a destination for snacks, entertainment, recreation, and more. Vended laundry businesses should consider providing a range of options for guests, to increase the customer base, keep customers happy, and increase profitability.