Mar 31, 2021

What Are Mixed Use Developments?

The term “mixed-use development” can apply to a wide range of community development projects. Simply put, real estate developments are classified as “mixed-use” if they contain multiple types of buildings that provide a mix of uses and purposes. Mixed-use developments can vary in scale from a single shared building to a comprehensive community with multiple buildings. Mixed-use developments may include any combination of residential, commercial, office, retail, or medical components that coexist within a shared space. Mixed-use developments are pedestrian-friendly developments that aim to create vibrant, shared communities where people can live, work, and play.

What are the benefits of Mixed-Use Development?

Mixed-use is community designs offer healthier and more flexible ways to live and provide benefits such as:

  • Convenience – Mixed-use communities offer the benefits of city living within a single neighbourhood as residents enjoy the comfort of being in close proximity to shops, restaurants, service providers that are steps away from their front door.
  • Reduced Traffic – With the amenities of daily life being in such close proximity, residents don’t need to drive as much for their day-to-day needs. Instead, they can bike or walk, thus, minimizing the need for car ownership, roadway congestion and air pollution
  • Local business advantages – Compared to shopping centres or stand-alone stores, businesses within mixed-use communities often attract more foot traffic because their consumers have easier access to their products and services. This allows commercial tenants to create more lasting relationships with residents that help keep their businesses thriving. Plus, with less need to travel, the money saved on monthly transportation costs can instead be spent in the local neighbourhood.
  • Social connections – Residents experience a greater sense of community in mixed-use developments. As walkable communities, mixed-use developments foster more social connections between community members as there are more common amenity spaces to allow people to meet and build relationships with their neighbours.
Examples of Mixed-Use in Nanaimo, BC
Pacific Station

A master plan development led by Westmark, Pacific Station is a synergistic mixed-use neighbourhood that is home to a mix of commercial office spaces, townhomes, and Hub at Pacific Station, a multi-residential building containing 60 stylish rental homes. Highly visible from the Island Highway, the business community at Pacific Station is exposed to more than 40,000 passing vehicles each day and includes optometrists, physiotherapists, designers, financial planners, and salons. From the initial planning through to construction, Pacific Station received overwhelming community support, receiving awards from the City of Nanaimo and Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB).

To learn more about Pacific Station, visit



Located in beautiful Departure Bay, LEGASEA is a boutique waterfront development that is home to 6 contemporary style homes and DRIP COFFEE | SOCIAL, one of the best coffee and ice cream shops in Nanaimo. The development is located across the street from beautiful Departure Bay Beach and Departure Bay Centennial Park, a neighbourhood park with tennis courts, pickleball courts, a multi-use court, a playfield, and two ball diamonds. LEGASEA received the Judges Choice Award of Excellence in the Mixed-Use category at the 2019 VIREB Commercial Building Awards.


Village on Third

We are excited to announce that the construction of Phase 1 of Village on Third is complete! Phase 1 is an 8 unit three-storey complex consisting of residential townhomes, duplexes and apartments. Once fully completed, Village on Third will be a modern urban village with a mix of office, retail and residential spaces – a community designed for all ages, lifestyles and appetites. Located in the heart of the University District of Nanaimo, Village on Third is within walking distance to the Aquatic Centre and University Village Shopping Centre where there are grocery stores, restaurants, hair salons, a laundromat, pharmacy, and more.


Have an idea for a mixed-use development?

Mixed-use developments offer a range of benefits to investors, residents and tenants alike. If you’re a developer interested in bringing a new mixed-use project to life, our Nanaimo builders have over 35 years of experience developing healthy, sustainable communities across Vancouver Island. Contact our team today!