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Old 09-15-2011, 08:59 AM
 
Location: In the heights
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Pretty much the topic title.

I wonder if there are any existing examples that take these intrinsically suburban forms and then tune them into a commercial strip for a suburban neighborhood without extensively demolishing or rebuilding. It seems to me that there is no inherent issue with the space for small-lot homes, but there would be a question of attracting enough the neighboring residents and possible noise and traffic complaints. I think the idea is more feasible for older suburban developments that featured smaller lots with houses closer together.

Any examples of places like this?
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:26 AM
 
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Where I live it would run into zoning issues and unless the peopleliving i the area approve not happen. What I see aroud me is that they fight to keep zoning single family and win when it is proposed.Also it quite expensive to take a home coded for family and convert it to code for commercial business where I live.
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:38 AM
 
Location: The City
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There are many old towns where single homes close to the main areas have such development, though many times I would suspect the zoning changed and few people live in the general areas. Not sure if these types would be an example but here is one I can think of in Doylestown PA.

doylestown pa - Google Maps
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Rhode Island
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Larger older cities like San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Providence, have homes that were built on streets that have now turned busier. Sometimes these single family houses will get commercial zoning and become doctor's and lawyer's offices, etc. Usually, it's on a house by house basis, although I suppose it's possible to find a whole block zoned commercial.

It works well since it integrates small businesses into neighborhoods- but usually only on busy "main" type streets.
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:55 AM
 
Location: The City
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New Hope PA

new hope pa - Google Maps
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Old 09-17-2011, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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You're' talking about single detached homes being converted into commercial buildings right, not redeveloped? There's quite a few of those in the neighbourhood I moved into this fall in Waterloo, ON. Some of them are on secondary/side streets, often professional offices but sometimes shops too. Example. Mind you it's not really a suburb, but this sort of conversion exists in most Canadian towns and suburbs.
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Old 09-17-2011, 02:47 PM
 
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A lot of Sacramento's central city has streets that used to be residential that are now commercial--in some cases the buildings were demolished, in others the residential building was converted to office use. Typically these are individual streets along what used to be trolley lines, now mostly major arteries in and out of downtown. Some have new additions in front for retail uses, and in some cases you can't really tell unless you step back and realize that there are three 100+ year old buildings hidden under a retail facade that replaced the front porch decades ago.
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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We have these in Oakland. Well to be more accurate, most commercial streets have a few random homes that are businesses. I can think of a couple of bars/restaurants in Oakland on Grand Avenue. And a similar number on Piedmont Ave in Oakland. (There is a bar/restaurant called Grand Tavern for example). On Piedmont Ave:

street view piedmont ave oakland - Google Maps

scroll up and down on the street and you will see several examples.

There used to be a place called the Gingerbread House that was a victorian turned restaurant somewhere in downtown Oakland, and there are a few more similar places over downtown. I can't think of an entire district of homes as commercial though.

Additionally, (on an unrelated note) we also have a victorian commercial district. Old Oakland is Victorian architecture that originated for commercial use.
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:55 AM
 
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Many older cities have examples of 19th century (or, as you get farther east, 18th century and earlier) commercial architecture, at least the bits that didn't get plowed under by redevelopment or refacaded (although you can typically tell the real story by checking out how the building looks from the alley side.) The places in Sacramento I'm talking about (mostly J Street in Midtown, and a few other residential streets turned commuter corridors) started as residential buildings, sometimes multi-story Queen Annes or Craftsman bungalows, with a new front building grafted on--sometimes as simple as a little concrete block building holding a barbershop or something, other times a two-story extension to the sidewalk that completely hides the building behind it unless you are passing in a bus and can see the roof peak (or, again, the alley side.) There are also older mixed-use buildings; a lot of old "corner stores" that started out with a market or other business below and residential above. Most were built with the intent that the family who ran the store would live upstairs, but today more often the upstairs resident is a renter who most likely doesn't work downstairs. I imagine both are pretty common in older cities. In some cases, former commercial corridors that aren't on business streets anymore have been converted back to residential but the "retail snout" remains.
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:48 AM
 
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South Boston, well pockets of it.
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