According to Pete Spittler, mixed-use neighborhoods are trending upward in urban living now. Recently, architect and real estate developer Pete Spittler answered a few questions about this phenomenon.
Q: What’swas the goal of your Flats East Bank Project?
Pete Spittler: We wanted to create a lifestyle for people who wish to live in an urban setting but still have access to the sense of community that comes with living in a neighborhood.
Q: How do you go about accomplishing that?
Pete Spittler: The most important thing, we decided, was to build it in a part of the city where people want to be. This development definitely fit that requirement.
Q: How did you approach the project visually?
Pete Spittler: By positioning the buildings in an area near the Warehouse District, we were able to take advantage of the waterfront entrance as well as the city’s bridges and industrial artifacts.
Q: Why do you think people want to live in these types of neighborhoods?
Pete Spittler: People have a real sense of wanting to belong somewhere. They also like the convenience and historical significance of living in a city. Flats East Bank Project combines those perks.
Q: What were your inspirations with this project?
Pete Spittler: We looked at famous neighborhoods, including the French Quarter in New Orleans and the Georgetown neighbor in Washington D.C., as well as local neighborhoods such as Little Italy, Coventry and Shaker Square and then we applied the best elements we found.
Q: How does retail play a role in the development of the neighborhood?
Pete Spittler: Having retail space is huge. Shops and restaurants get people out and about, it gets them walking around, meeting their neighbors, and investing in the community.
Q: Are mixed-use neighborhoods the future of urban development?
Pete Spittler: I definitely think so. There’s a huge appeal to living in an area that’s self sustaining for work, living, and play.
Q: How important is culture in these neighborhoods?
Pete Spittler: Culture is absolutely a driving force. We make an effort to support the local arts and gallery scene in Flats East Bank Project, and we want local artists to feel comfortable displaying their work here.
Q: Who are the most common residents in these neighborhoods?
Pete Spittler: These types of neighborhoods typically cater to young professionals and empty nester urban dwellers who know exactly what they want out of a living space and appreciate the perks of the urban life.
Pete Spittler has an extensive background in architecture and development, and he was a senior project manager at Figgie International, where he oversaw real estate development. Pete Spittler is the president and founder of GSI Architects. Pete Spittler also coordinated the privatization of a $200 million hydroelectric program in Brazil.