Maido Lüiste, Head of Scandium Kinnisvara AS
Mixed-use real estate is a keyword that we hear more and more often from the lips of both European and American real estate developers. Giving a building several complex functions enriches the daily life of the users of the house, as well as the cityscape around it. It is time for us to start thinking more about office buildings in Estonia than just about the houses where we go to work and turn off the lights in the evening.
The mixed-use office building brings together residential and commercial premises in one building, supplementing them with various entertainment and sports facilities. The benefits of live-work-play dynamics are reflected in a number of aspects that benefit the employer, the employee, and the local population.
The biggest change compared to conventional office buildings can be seen in the cityscape. There are some areas in Tallinn that completely drain people when the evening arrives and remain dark until the arrival of Monday morning. In the case of mixed-use, we would see a smooth change of staff – when employees leave, entertainment consumers and residents of the house arrive in the building. The result is a more vibrant cityscape where people are constantly moving – regardless of the day or time.
This, in turn, encourages the spread of local business. If cafe owners are able to serve steaks to the evening guest and the consumer of entertainment in the same house in addition to the lunch offers for the office worker, they will not close the eatery at 15.00. It is possible that they will make additional investments in the equipment and service of the restaurant, thus bringing people into the house from even further away.
From the house resident’s point of view, the dwelling would no longer be just a building where to eat and sleep, but an environment around which everyday life revolves. The house dweller would have a choice of services to consume without leaving the house. This can be a gym, a relaxation area, or a restaurant where you can grab a quality morning coffee and a delicious dinner.
An employer planning an office in a mixed-used office building can expect the same benefits as residents of the building, but the impact of the values would be wider. Labor market research has shown that a good working environment and additional opportunities are very important for young (but not only!) professionals in addition to a decent salary. An in-house entertainment area with a yoga room and a gym and the opportunity to live in the same attractive house can become an important feature to stand out in the labor market.