Zoning regulations discourage both retail and housing within a building at street level, even though these are proven ways to create a lively streetscape. Great urban streets have active and transparent (lots of windows) first floors filled with restaurants, businesses and other uses.
Unfortunately, there isn’t enough retail demand to fill all the ground floors at the redeveloped Friendship Court. However, amenities and services can also create an active environment.
As a mission-focused nonprofit housing provider, Piedmont Housing would not typically take on the costs and risks of retail development. But street-level non-residential uses provide safety, social activity, and jobs within the neighborhood. To gain those benefits, this redevelopment will include both retail and community space.
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In our next Master Plan blog post, we’ll look at proposed green infrastructure.
Source: Friendship Court Redevelopment Master Plan, December 2016 – Master Plan Proposal (The Plan: Mix of Uses)