MIAMI—Mixed-use and transit-oriented developments are emergingas a staple of new construction across the Southeast, though theyare still less visible to the capital markets. It's rare to see anew office or condo building rise without ground floor retail or ahotel component.

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Miami is witnessing three game-changing mixed-use andtransit-oriented developments coming off the drawing board and outof the dirt: Swire's $1.05 billion Brickell CityCentre with office,residential, retail and hotels; the $2 billion Miami Worldcenterwith those same components; and Miami Central's All Aboard Florida,a three-million-square-foot urban mixed-use transit-orienteddevelopment.

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“MiamiCentral demonstrates that a true passenger rail system anda connected public transportation system can reinvigorate adowntown, as so many world-class cities enjoy,” MichaelReininger, All Aboard Florida's presidentand CEO, tells GlobeSt.com. “This is a rebirth for two ideal areasof Downtown Miami, an opportunity to create an identity for ahistoric part of the city, and reinvigorate the desire for masstransit. The importance of Downtown Miami is evidenced by thesignificant investment made not only by All Aboard Florida, butother key developments, and will be a hugely sought after iconicdestination, in a newly urbanized neighborhood.”

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But it's not just Downtown Miami, although the city has one ofthe best comeback stories in the Southeast. TraditionalNeighborhood Development Partners is planning transit-orienteddevelopments in North Carolina, including Lowe's Grove, on theformer site of a farm next to the Research Triangle Park in Durham.And Park Central, a new 17-acre master-planned project in thePerimeter Center area of Dunwoody, GA, recently got underway. StateFarm is leasing 585,000 square feet in the transit-orienteddevelopment's first office building.

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“I see a real resurgence in true urban density, a focus ontransportation and stores that are being built to 'human scale'versus mass merchandisers,” Mike Cohn, regionalpresident and co-founder of Lennar Commercial,tells GlobeSt.com. “I see a focus on amenities to serve thatgrowing urban density, all of which makes for more walkable andlivable communities.”

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Alex Carrick, chief economist atConstruction Market Data, tells GlobeSt.com newcommercial construction projects in the Southeast are largely stuckin neutral—with one exception. He points to a clear move towardmixed-use projects that combine offices, retail space, condoresidences and even manufacturing facilities.

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“Out of the 40 largest upcoming commercial construction projectsin the Southeast, nearly half will be mixed-use facilities,”Carrick says. “Mixed-use projects provide a developer with a morestable source of revenue. A risk in one area, such hotelaccommodation, can be offset by activity levels in another, such asretail. Mixed-use projects can also widen the financing base.Lenders are reassured when borrowers have several different sourcesof earnings. All their eggs aren't being placed in one basket.”Click here to read more about major commercial real estatetrends in the Southeast.

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