The scoop on a construction hot word

We’re to help educate you on everything “mixed-use.”


The SATX skyline is going through some big changes.

Renderings via Historic and Design Review Commission

You’ve probably read or heard the term “mixed-used” being thrown around when talking about new development, but do you know what this construction buzzword means?

We’re here to break down the nuances so you can be better informed whenever there’s fresh development news coming to the Alamo City.

What is a mixed-use project?

Mixed-use development is characterized as a pedestrian-friendly development that blends two or more residential, commercial, cultural, institutional, and/or industrial uses, according to the city. Here are the upcoming projects that best show this example:

  • Hemisfair residential proposal in Civic Park | This blends a 10-story residential tower, with a three-story retail building.
  • The latest downtown hotel tower project | 320-360 living units will blend with six retail spaces.
  • The Mira at The Pearl | Integrating 325 rental units, a parking garage, and 14,000-sqft retail space on the ground.
  • The Soto + Make Ready Market project along Broadway | Former Cavender Cadillac dealership turned brewery with food hall featuring 10 vendors as well as mixed office space.

How does mixed-use benefit the community?

We’re experiencing a multi-decade shift in urban development and as a result, our city is changing. Not as fast as Austin though.

What’s behind all this? Online shopping — that’s what Michael Klunder, a San Antonian and researcher at the Pratt Institute, points towards in his 2021 research. A shift away from brick and mortar shopping means large lots, buildings, and parking spaces in urban areas are left largely empty, and inactive.

But by reclaiming condemned and vacant patches of land, developers and city officials are able to create a 20-minute city, an urban concept in which residential, community space, and necessary establishments are within less than 20 minutes of each other.

Simply put: The goal of a mixed-use project is to have almost everything you’ll need, within walking distance.