Panel: Hotels Key to Mixed-Use

Retail Traffic Managing Editor Riccardo A. Davis is out ICSC's Conference on Open-Air Centers and will be sending dispatches from the show.

Here's his first:

Hospitality is top of mind among the attendees of the 2007 ICSC Conference on Open Air Centers.

But, it's not the accommodations or the level of service being rendered at the conference site in Phoenix, the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa.

During the welcoming reception Wednesday evening, upbeat developers and architects were abuzz about their as yet announced mixed-use projects.

While they wouldn't share specific details such as the projects' site, each noted a key driver in its anticipated success as the hotel.

The next morning during the general session titled, “Mixed Use” - Should Your Company Be in Mixed-Used Development, two panelists, both developers of mixed-use projects added fuel to the fire.

“With hotels, you get a premium on residential sales, rentals and higher occupancy rates,” said Yaromir Steiner, CEO of Steiner + Associates. He added that demand for hotels is rising because they are seen as critical to generating above-average returns at mixed-use projects.

Steiner's fellow panelist, Lee Wagman, CEO of The Martin Group, notes mixed-use's fast-growing popularity is fueled by projects that most successfully combine several elements into a cohesive whole.

He was clear, his definition of mixed-use incorporates three or more components into a live, work and play environment that creates a high-density hub.

Wagman says, “Two uses is “multi-use, not mixed-use.”

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