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Municipal logic consists of a frame of reference to evaluate submitted commercial projects on the territory.

Why talk about municipal logic, and what is it exactly?

Municipal logic consists of a frame of reference to evaluate submitted commercial projects on the territory. The free-market era must be over. The reasons for adopting this vision of urban development are numerous. Here are a few.

  1. The temporal environment of the city is broader than that of the private investor. Think of the value of land in a municipal entity!. This value is practically infinite and is guaranteed to grow consistently over time. For the private sector, the value of a property or building lasts for a few decades. Thus, the planning of the territory must take into account what exists and what may or should exist.
  2. A variety of clients with a variety of needs. A city is an amalgam of clienteles, users, and participants with equally different requirements. The city must, therefore, deal with numerous pressure groups, and it cannot continually yield to the demands of each. That’s why he needs a vision of the territory.
  3. Planning is essential for territorial development. It is not trifle; the issues related to the occupation of the territory remain vital to municipal development and cannot be satisfied with an ad hoc management.
  4. Coherent real estate practices. Whatever the use, it fits in the universe already in the development of the urban real estate park. Each new component must improve established consistency. Otherwise, it is an irritant that will require sooner or later, substantial fixes (commercial revitalization is an example).
  5. Uses are subservient to municipal needs. There is no point in establishing uses that are not related to local reality. For example, residential, commercial, and institutional functions are justified if they are consistent with local needs. Independent implementations to the urban context should not be allowed.
  6. Optimization of real estate assets. It is the application of the theory of highest and best use that stipulates that the private investor must seek the maximum value for the development of his land. This research may lead to unintended uses by the municipality. The city can also apply this approach to its benefit. It is another application of the municipal (urban, commercial, residential) vision.

100% commercial occupancy rate. What to do?

It is a desirable situation, commercially speaking for the community. But the occupancy rate is not the only indicator of the vitality of a business zone. Despite an apparent total occupation, can we detect the presence of:

  1. Services on the ground floor? Their presence has the effect of weakening the consistency of the commercial offer of products and catering. Indeed, these establishments act as a cosmic black hole where customers enter but do not leave to frequent the surrounding businesses.


  1. Non-complementary businesses to the established vocation? The existence of retail unrelated to the predominant vocation has the effect of diluting the supply of business. It is better to leave these establishments and invite other complementary companies to grow the current offer.
  2. Retail in decline? The owner does not seem to be able to identify a taker for his establishment. This situation may become an opportunity to insert an undesirable or non-complementary business. Caution is required, and alternative use is appropriate.


  1. Low-value trade? It is these entry-level establishments that fit into thriving business areas with the hope of benefiting from the catchment of more established businesses. These establishments, although they may be part of a complementarity function, do not fit the nature of the quality of their offer. It is often better to look for an improved version of these businesses.


  1. Low-density buildings? The addition of one or two floors can benefit the business area by increasing the density of real estate and inviting services to levels. It creates additional consumers during the day, and this also increases visitor traffic in the business area.


  1. Possible conversion to the service? It is a conversion of floors to the function of local service companies or regional offices.


  1. Shops on the verge of closing their doors? Whether moving, bankrupt, or redeveloping real estate, we must ensure the integrity of the commercial offer over time. It requires preparation that anticipates these changes and provides a bank of potential candidates to enter the business area. Why do a real estate analysis of the territory?



Talking about commercial density, sustainable development, reducing sprawl is fine, but how to address these situations. And above all, how to justify any analysis of the territory. And then, is it necessary? Here are nine conditions that should get your attention on this subject.


  1. Commercial sprawl on the territory.
    It’s often not as dramatic as a situation. It merely is a scattering of a few companies beyond the recognized commercial concentration. These companies can fit into the residential grain and seem harmless.
    Risk is an effect on property values ​​adjacent to businesses. Residences may lose some of their resale value because of this environment. And then, there are the possible effects of customer traffic, more active parking in the neighborhood, and supplies of equipment. Finally, there is a slight attack on the image of the place.


  1. The incongruous aging of commercial arteries.
    A chaotic mix of businesses is a manifestation of signs of aging. The display often shows difficulties of adaptation to reality, the free premises abound, and the buildings have a clear need for maintenance.
    The risk inherent in this situation lies in the attraction of these characteristics for marginal businesses looking for a minimum price of space and less stringent conditions. In addition to an unattractive image, customers must go further to do their essential shopping.


  1. Absence of commercial vocation in business areas.
    The presence of commercial establishments does not automatically translate into a vocation. In many cases, a suite of non-complementary businesses is more illustrative of an example of urban commercial sprawl, a commercially chaotic zone, or even a commercial depot, which is a place of storage of homeless business forms!

The commercial risk associated with this deposit is to favor an agglomeration of business concepts seeking a low price of rent. As a result, a fortification of the area will evolve from anecdotal to a disorganized commercial core. This type of situation usually emerges from a historic real estate sediment that has not been affected by redevelopment or enhancement of the site.


  1. Sub-tax optimization of buildings.
    It is primarily using that does not produce an optimal return in terms of municipal land revenue. It is the case of a low density of real estate, uses of little value, and storage companies of all kinds. Over time, the past justification for the presence of this establishment in the urban fabric fades to no longer be valid. The current context indeed justifies a higher density of real estate to contribute more effectively to the yield of urban land.

The buildings labeled as such constitute, in reality, disguised land reserves, because the redevelopment of these spaces produces not only an adjustment of real estate development but also a higher property value.


  1. The impertinence of uses.
    The notion of impertinence remains an observation linked to the evolution of the territory. A use that sets in at the limits of the city and which several decades later finds itself enclosed in a denser urban setting can become impertinent. It is the case of trailer shops, for example, trailer parks too, and activities of selling sheds, selling agricultural equipment, trailers, and others. These activities consume a lot of lands that, in urban areas, do not offer the expected municipal financial performance in their current form.
    These situations need relocation to more appropriate sites. There is thus a cost of tax opportunity intrinsic to the maintenance of these companies in the urban territory.


  1. Incomplete commercial programming.
    A weak municipal, commercial presence invites citizens to move to consume essential goods and services at competing sites. This low commercial attraction is equivalent to exporting the discretionary spending potential of citizens to other destinations. In the end, it is the investments and jobs that leave.
    It is why the production of a commercial balance sheet is essential for any municipality to know the nature of local needs. A low commercial offer can also reduce potential areas for service companies that can choose to locate where consumers shop.


  1. The de-structuring commercial effect.
    There are situations where the presence of some uses create troubles, difficulties in the operation of the commercial frame. It is the de-structuring effect. It is a distant use of those who prevail locally. For example, industrial activity in a commercial area, a fleet of vehicles used for the sale of parts, extensive commercial use in a residential area, and others.
    The risk associated with the destructuring effect is to considerably slow the renewal of the surrounding uses because of the negative image projected by the harmful effect. The de-structuring result thus represents a species of a black hole.


  1. Rapid commercial development.
    Despite stable demography, there are territories where urban development is accelerating. Sustained residential construction promotes the emergence of commercial zones. But for the municipality with little experience in retail management, there is an essential issue of business coherence, density management, and territorial organization. It is also the case in brownfield redevelopment, where a new housing complex will provide an integrated commercial function.


  1. Lack of commercial vision.
    There has been a trivialization of the terms of vision and mission in recent years. But the very essence of these concepts is becoming more critical than ever. In an urban context of land scarcity, increased housing densification, and redevelopment, choices are essential to determine the desired development structure. The delicate balance between municipal functions is more precarious in the context of urban density.
    The development of a commercial vision makes it possible to specify what the municipality wants in terms of retail and service companies. It makes it easier to create or manage an urban business hierarchy that will be sustainable.