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Parents Are Seeking Live-Work-Shop-Play-Learn Communities

May 21, 2023

Child care is the in-demand amenity for incoming mixed-use developments.

Mixed-use developments have been on the rise over the last decade, with increasing popularity among the next generation of residents. A 2019 study by ICSC found that nearly four-fifths, or 78%, of U.S. adults would consider residing in live-work-shop-play environments. General convenience and time efficiency from the proximity to everything was the main reason cited by more than half of respondents for why they would want to pursue such communities.  

With this popularity comes conversation around what types of businesses/amenities are the most compelling for residents, whether that be retail, fitness, dining or even health care services. But one need is excessively clear for mixed-use communities across the nation: child care. In a more recent survey conducted by OnePoll and Primrose Schools in April 2023, nearly 70% of respondents stated they wish that developers incorporated more quality child care into their projects.

The OnePoll and Primrose Schools study offered insight into this growing demand for live-work-shop-play-, and now, learn communities, where early education offerings are situated within mixed-use developments so parents can easily access quality child care alongside residential, retail and workplaces. The survey found that a staggering 88% of parents say it’s important to live and/or work near their child’s early education and child care center. Further, child care acts as an anchor tenant that encourages foot traffic for surrounding businesses. OnePoll’s survey found that 87% of parents are more likely to shop at businesses located where their children are receiving child care.

Primrose Schools, a high-quality early education and care leader with over 480 schools nationwide and 17 incoming schools in the 2023 pipeline, is dedicated to delivering this missing piece for mixed-use communities in metros across the U.S. The education centers can be housed comfortably within mixed-use developments, multitenant offices or traditional standalone structures while requiring fewer of the resources other tenants need. Primrose Schools’ flexible site requirements include a minimum of 8,000 square feet for a location in an office building or similar commercial space and a minimum of 10,000 square feet for converting a pre-existing building, while 40,000 square feet is needed to construct a school from the ground up.

Thanks to flexible site requirements that fit a variety of mixed-use, suburban, urban and even corporate settings, the Primrose Schools development team has successfully converted spaces for new schools in a variety of locations, ranging everywhere from inside Class A office space and high-rise condos to a defunct warehouse and even a former winery.

Primrose School at The Parks D.C. is part of the adaptive reuse project built on the 3.1 million-square-foot mixed-use development located at the former campus of Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Opened in fall of 2021, the school serves 188 local children, offering essential child care for and alongside surrounding neighbors and tenants of The Parks, including residential, retail and dining.

Primrose School of Evergreen is located within a mixed-use development built on nearly 15 acres of the former Mirassou Winery in San Jose, California. The development features 150 residential units, 25,000 square feet of office space and 75,000 square feet of commercial retail space, including the school, located in the former winery building. It was built in 1924 in Mediterranean Revival architectural style, which the school's design preserved.

Primrose School of Grant Park is located in an adaptive reuse project in Atlanta, within the heart of the city’s oldest park. What started as a neglected warehouse was converted into a thriving mixed-use development, inclusive of office space, food-and-beverage offerings, retail and, of course, early education through Primrose Schools in a unique, period-specific urban design that takes use of many features of the original building.

“The data is clear. Families want the real estate industry to add ‘learn’ to live-work-shop-play developments. Primrose stands ready to partner with real estate leaders to not only meet the demand for quality early education, but to deliver long-term revenue to the communities they are building by incorporating child care offerings.”

— Nick Koros, chief development officer of Primrose Schools

According to the Council for a Strong America ReadyNation in February 2023, nearly three-quarters of working parents in the U.S. report that access to child care is a challenge. It’s a problem that local, state and federal governments are working to solve, proposing incentives or even requirements for developers to bring additional child care options into areas of need. In New York City, under a recently passed bill, landlords who build child care space will now receive tax credits per square foot. In Boston, a 2022 executive order from the mayor requires that any new commercial building in most of the city’s downtown districts must either provide an early education space on-site or supply resources for new child care spaces elsewhere in the city. As these initiatives increase in volume, Primrose is ready to assist developers and landlords in bringing new care opportunities to additional communities across the country.

Primrose Schools has a robust list of franchise owners that are ready to purchase or lease sites across the nation. Developers interested in partnering with Primrose can learn more online or call 1-800-PRIMROSE for more information.