Another question I get asked on a frequent basis is, “When are the shop houses coming?”. The short answer is, I don’t know yet. If you’re interested, please drop me a line, and I can add you to my notification list. If it’s live-work you’re after, you could theoretically rent at Mosaic and rent commercial space below right now.
The shop house is an example of mixed use development. The image on the right courtesy of Elliot Brown shows the concept in action in England – live up, work down. The Mueller Design Book has them placed on the north-south transit boulevard, aka Berkman Drive and also in the Mueller Town Center.
The theory is that the wider street will have businesses to promote different activity and engagement, aka shopping. They will also cut down on transportation needs if they are walkable, not to mention those commute trips that are now vertical rather than vehicular. If you’ve seen Berkman Drive recently, you’ll only see one of the two carriageways in use – the roadway on the other side of the median is not yet in place, nor for that matter is the median. It’s going to be a very wide street, designed to accommodate the street car if and when funding comes to fruition.
What will they look like? Traditionally shop houses had short frontage and were deep on the lot. This was due in part to taxation schemes based on street frontage – it made economic sense to have a long but skinny home. According to the design book, lot sizes will be 55×25 feet, although shop houses can be built on row house lots too which can be deeper and a touch narrower. They can be built to 40 feet or 3 stories tall, and although they may share an alley with single family yard houses, they won’t share a block with them.