23 April, 2021
Whilst the decline of the traditional high street has been much publicised over recent years, Covid-19 has likely accelerated the changes to how high street property is utilised in the long-term. One of the main challenges for city centres in a post-restrictions world will be how its property can be rejuvenated. One of the emerging solutions is the use of 'blended use' spaces.
Blended use spaces are where a property is used to occupy a handful of SMEs (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) who establish small concession stands to sell a variety of products. A common example would be a food court, where food stands set up and run by SMEs create a community space to attract customers. Such community spaces are becoming more common, where old industrial or market buildings that have historically utilised a single use purpose have been converted to host these communal spaces. The conversion to a 'hub' space is proving an appealing way for commercial property to be effectively utilised during and after the gradual reopening of businesses.
Furthermore, not only does it allow for the properties to adapt to change, but it also enables the owners of older and/or unused sites to rejuvenate their use. It is anticipated that this idea of use conversion could play a pivotal role in the revival of city centres. This is especially true if the Government proceeds with its current intention to simplify the planning permission regime, allowing property owners to quickly arrange for their use to be converted.
'Blended use' spaces present an emerging opportunity for property owners to ensure that they can adapt to the changing landscape of effective property use in city centres.
For more information contact Michael Bogahalanda in our Commercial Property department via email or phone on 01772 220223. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.