The owner of 15 South Avenue in downtown New Canaan, CT, is seeking permission to convert second floor commercial space to residential.
For years, both floors in the small building have been retail. Because of the low demand for retail space in the city center, the owner would like develop a one bedroom apartment.
Many have predicted that a shift from retail to residential uses was a likely outcome of the pandemic. Among them are Marc Joffee and Austill Stuart, policy analysts at the Reason Foundation. They encourage city leaders to, “reduce unnecessary restrictions that may prevent businesses from adjusting to the realities of the pandemic.”
Cities, at least those with stable or growing populations, say the analysts, can address lower demand for commercial space by facilitating retail-to-residential conversions. Over the long run, they say, city governments may need to consider, “rightsizing their commercial corridors.”
More on converting commercial space, creating a bike-friendly vibe, and managing parking rates, appears in the June issue of Downtown Idea Exchange. Click to learn more about Downtown Idea Exchange and other resources for revitalizing downtowns and commercial corridors.