If you are into real estate or the construction industry the term mixed use will not be new to you, but for the sake of inclusiveness, let me break it down for the rest. Mixed use refers to developing structures that have a mixture of residential, business and retail uses. Instead of building only rentals, a developer will choose to have their own home, some rentals and an office space on the same plot of land thereby getting the most out of it.

These kinds of developments are common in urban area and more developed suburbs such as Ntinda, Bukoto or Kabalagala. In this house plan, Simon Nandala, an architectural assistant at ACQ Consortium, gives the developer a shot at achieving these two types of units on a plot of 60x80ft.

Two bedroom units
Two bedroom units are the norm starter homes for the progressive urban dweller with an average income and a longing for a higher quality lifestyle. Each unit has a kitchen, a dining room, a lounge and separate verandahs. Both bedrooms have in built closets albeit varying in size and both share the same bathroom.

Bob Bwayo, a real estate agent, observes that two bedroom apartments are the most desirable currently because, of the additional space and the flexibility it affords all manner of living arrangements.

“Usually when I have two bedroom apartments on my list, they will be the first to go regardless of style, location or cost,” Bwayo explains. “But when you have one that has a separate living room, a kitchen, and at least one bathroom, with modern finishes, the demand will be multiplied,” he adds.

Three bedroom unit
This three bedroom unit is suitable for a larger family that needs the space. The two smaller bedrooms have in-built closets and share a bathroom just outside in the corridor. The master bedroom has an inbuilt closet and full bathroom. With its own verandah, spacious living, dining, and kitchen. This house is built for functionality and comfort.

Estimated to cost Shs 160m Mathias Omona a construction engineer, opines that this kind of investment goes a long way in making housing affordable for low- and middle-income households in urban areas where income are stagnant yet housing costs keep rising.

“While three-bedroom apartments are more affordable to the well-to-do, they might not fare well in the wider market of the majority who want low-cost quality housing,” Omona notes. The development has parking space for three cars.

What to consider
Whether you are considering living in one, rent out as a home and turn the other into your office, it is important to successfully blend within the rest of the area. Therefore, make sure your architecture is reverential to the core values of the community.
Building amenities need to be up to the standards and do not forget to provide proper parking for your tenants When selecting tenants, look for those that are appropriate for the neighborhood. Their businesses or living arrangements must not inconvenience or interfere with the lives of the other families. It would be very inconveniencing for instance turning one of these apartments into a night club if it were located in a residential area. Apart from the noise and traffic from the club goers, residents especially parents would be worried by the level of temptation this would be for their children.