Study: intermountain west favors mixed-use, walkable retail.


Western Americans prefer mixed uses and smaller shops to large retail centers, reported Community Builders, a project of the pro-conservation nonprofit Sonoran Institute, Tucson, Arizona.

"When it comes to commercial real estate in the American West today, the hot spot to be is on the corner of downtown Main Street, right in the heart of town--preferably in an area with a mix of housing, office and retail," said Clark Anderson, director of the Sonoran Institute's Colorado Program, which helps local builders align community planning and natural resource management goals. "The strip mall isn't dead, but we're seeing retailers trying to adapt in an era when e-commerce has taken off and when people do go out to shop, they want a richer experience."

Community Builders' study, Restore: Commercial and Mixed-Use Development Trends in the Rocky Mountain West, builds upon a 2013 survey that reported 90 percent of people would prefer living within an easy walk to other places in their community.

The study said the Intermountain West reflects national trends, including the rise of online shopping, changing...

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