Message - Re: Affordable housing on roof of shopping center. - historical precedent

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Posted by  JWmHarmon on February 24, 2003 at 10:28:08:

In Reply to:  Affordable housing on roof of shopping center. posted by Frank B. Palmer on February 24, 2003 at 07:13:45:

If you look at the two and three storey buildings of most small city downtown areas you will find shops on the first floor and apartments on the second and third floors. Sometimes the second floor is used for offices or for storage.

One of the most luxurious apartments I ever visited was in a small Ohio, USA, town. The apartment was located above a car dealership building... Lincoln Continentals in the showroom; equally furnished apartment upstairs.

What you are describing has ample precedent. It was the widespread adoption of the automobile beginning in the 1950's that led to the abandonment of many of the luxury apartments and the more modest apartments in the downtown area when building in the suburbs or outlying areas became a reasonable option.

The development of the interstate highways in the 1960's and 1970's further doomed the downtown areas in terms of human occupancy, leaving the downtown apartments to absentee landlords and tenants who had no stake in keeping up the properties. Combine that with the general trend to prefer "new" construction over "old bricks and mortar" and we are left with downtown areas that are abandoned after working hours.

To once again combine second floor residential apartments with first floor commercial space would seem to make a lot of sense. Have you done any maket research to see if there are people who will want to occupy these residences?

I can not give any specific example of where this has been done, but it seems to me to be a great idea.

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