This article can be found in the current issue of the Journal of Urban Affairs regarding Examining Public Private Partnerships and the Production of Urban Space.
This article examines the possibility of delivering much-needed social service facilities such as homeless shelters by integrating them into for-profit building developments through public–private partnerships. It draws on the case study of the Red Door Family Shelter in Toronto, a unique project that incorporates an emergency homeless shelter for families, women, and children into an upscale condominium apartment building. The study shows that interinstitutional collaborations enable public- and private-sector entities to realize their goals for urban development projects that neither could achieve on their own. In particular, innovative mixed-use development partnerships can enhance access to scarce development sites, augment project funding, generate community support for controversial projects, and share and mitigate project risks between the partners. Nevertheless, barriers to public–private mixed-use buildings include lengthy and complicated planning processes, challenges finding complementary land uses, and the need to carefully align the interests between the partners.