Charlotte Future 2040
Place Types: Commercial
Goal: Provide places for the sale of goods and services in locations readily accessible by automobile.
Commercial places are primarily car-oriented destinations for retail, services, hospitality, and dining, often along major streets or near interstates.
- Typical uses include shopping centers, standalone retail uses, personal services, hotels, restaurants, and service stations.
- This Place Type is characterized by low-rise retail structures with a walkable, landscaped public realm that balances automobile, bicycle, and pedestrian design elements.
- Commercial places are typically located along high-volume arterial streets, limited access roadways, and near interstate interchanges. While uses and sites are generally automobile-oriented, streets are designed to accommodate safe and comfortable travel by all modes of travel.
- Cross-access between adjoining sites limits the number of driveways off arterial streets, thereby improving the public realm and circulation.
- Arterial streets support walking, cycling, and transit use by providing
a safe and comfortable environment to reach transit stops, jobs, or nearby destinations.
- The typical building height is four or fewer stories. If located in an interchange area, buildings may be up to five stories. Long, continuous buildings, especially strip commercial buildings, can be found in Commercial places. These buildings still accommodate the desired block structure and connected street network. Some sites include accessory drive through facilities and gas pumps.
- This Place Type includes numerous improved open spaces such as plazas, patios, and courtyards that may include landscaping. Natural open spaces, such as tree preservation areas, are also found and encouraged here. Landscaping provides an attractive public realm by softening street edges.
- Comfortable sidewalks with landscape buffers
- Mid-block crossings
- Active ground floors with patios/plazas typically behind buildings along major roadways
- Buildings oriented to streets
- Signage opportunities
- Transition to Adjacent Place Types
Bird’s Eye Highlights
- Consolidated driveways and access points
- Frequent pedestrian connections to and between buildings and blocks
- 1-3 story infill buildings oriented towards the street with commercial, office, hospitality, and mixed-use
- On street and surface parking (located to the side and behind buildings as feasible)
- Increase in housing density near commercial activity
- Buildings forms, sizes, and styles vary based on use, but typically buildings are placed along the street whenever feasible.
- Windows, doors, and clear public entries are located along the street frontage with parking or services on the side or in the rear.
- Wider planting strips, sidewalks and bike lanes along larger streets separate pedestrians and higher speed vehicles and provide a more comfortable pedestrian environment.
- Limited parking and drive-though lanes are located between the sidewalk and the front door.
- Outdoor dining areas along the sidewalk and street provide a more vibrant public realm.
- Pedestrian connections are provided from the street and sidewalk directly to the front door of commercial buildings.
- Developments with multiple retail tenants and clear pedestrian connections create a safe, walkable environment.