Waterfront regeneration of port districts emerge as a tool for prestigious development of cities in urban re-imaging and growth. Creation of prestigious housing in these areas are part of a broader strategy of mixed-use and property-led development, but in absence of a holistic approach in planning and design, the urban landscapes may be developed merely on basis of the real estate frameworks. This article looks at how development trends of port cities can take an unintended stance in property-led regeneration of port districts, creating gated communities and failing to succeed in achieving the pre-determined objectives in urban planning. The discussion, which will address to issues of place-making, commodification of public space and planning policies, will take the port city of Izmir as the case. It is suggested that the adoption of a holistic approach to urban planning should guide the regeneration processes and design should take place-making into consideration.