Conversations from ICSC: Childcare is an in-demand amenity for mixed-use developments

Parents seek Live-Work-Shop-Play-Learn Communities.

Las Vegas, (May 23, 2023) – ICSC kicked off this week in Las Vegas, and one subject being discussed is childcare for mixed-use developments among the tens of thousands of convention attendees. Mixed-use developments have increased over the last decade, with growing 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 the 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 retail, fitness, dining or even health care services. But one need is evident for mixed-use communities across the nation: childcare. In a recent OnePoll and Primrose Schools survey in April 2023, nearly 70% of respondents said they wished that developers incorporated more quality childcare into their projects.

The OnePoll and Primrose Schools study offered insight into this growing demand for live-work-shop-play-, and now, learning communities, where early education offerings are situated within mixed-use developments so parents can easily access quality childcare alongside residential, retail, and workplaces. The survey found that 88% of parents say living and working near their child’s early education and childcare center is essential. Further, childcare is an anchor tenant encouraging foot traffic for surrounding businesses. OnePoll’s survey found that 87% of parents are more likely to shop at companies where their children receive childcare.

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 resources than 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 structure. In comparison, 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 the fall of 2021, the school serves 188 local children, offering essential childcare 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 in the former winery building. It was built in 1924 in the Mediterranean Revival architectural style, preserved by the school’s design.

Primrose School of Grant Park is 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 early education through Primrose Schools in a unique, period-specific urban design that uses 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 meet the demand for quality early education and deliver long-term revenue to the communities they are building by incorporating childcare 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 childcare options into areas of need. Under a recently passed bill in New York City under a recently passed bill, landlords who build childcare 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 either provide an on-site early education space or supply resources for new childcare spaces elsewhere in the city. Primrose is ready to assist developers and landlords in bringing new care opportunities to other communities nationwide as these initiatives increase in volume.

Schools in Arizona include:

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