Best Tall Building 200-299 meters Award of Excellence: 277 Fifth Avenue, New York City

Asaf Shuster
Senior Vice President
Victor Group, New York City

Charles Blomberg
Technical Director
Rafael Viñoly Architects, New York City

Midwest Mixed Use - A study from Boom to Bust to Mixed-Use

Evolution of Mixed-Use from the 1970 standalone office towers to todays most program rich projects. We will explore the history of Mixed-Use through past projects and look at future opportunities of this project type and their impact on our cities. How did single use towers define our cities? What is the future of the mixed-use towers, are they worth the challenge and inefficiencies?

From 1970 to 1992 the Midwest saw incredible growth in our urban centers. The boom years gave rise to iconic towers in places like Chicago, Columbus, Detroit and St Louis. Single use towers that created a 9 to 5 city that lacked engagement with the urban habitat. The next 20 years would see city centers slow decline as growth in suburban office space took off. The Midwest has seen little high-rise activity during this 20 year decline but after the great recession in 2010 these cities have started a comeback. This comeback is different this time. Some of the most unique Mixed-use projects are being developed in some of the most unlikely places. 250 South high Street in Columbus mixes retail, office and residential on a tight site. Nucleus in Cleveland is a residential tower, office tower, hotel bridge and major retail on the lower floors. Hudson Site in Detroit stacks up hotel, residential, office, exhibit and events. These complex projects help developers find unique ways to finance their projects in cities that have lower rent rates and construction cost continue to climb. For the last 5 years the Midwest is showing signs of a new boom that will continue to help shape the future of Mixed-use projects.

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