Live Work Space is a concept that is consistent with both new urbanism and sustainable "green" development. More people are working at home at least part of the week. Condo and apartment developers around the country are beginning to promote live-work units as part of their mix of offerings.
The concept is consistent with historic city patterns, where small business owners operated their business on one floor and lived above the store. Artists love the the artist's loft, where they both live and create, and use their space as a studio.
Work at-home work spaces target professionals and entrepreneurs. My wife, Beth Ruyle, is a Financial Advisor to municipalities, working for Ehlers-Inc, with offices in Lisle, Illinois near Chicago. But she typically spends only one day a week there, working out of our home office overlooking downtown Peoria and Giant Oak Park. She actually drives less and spends less time in the car now, with one trip a week from Peoria to Lisle, then she did when we lived in the Chicago area, with a 3 hour round trip every day to and from work.
Pat Sullivan has developed some great live work space in the Kellehers Block. People can both live and work from their unit, and meet in the pubs and restaurants downstairs.
This type of development is consistent with both new urbanism and green sustainable development. It eliminates travel time from home to work, with resultant savings in energy, time, air pollution, and public cost for maintaining roads.
Devonshire Inc proposes to build a mixed use building on Main Street at the site of the old Walgreens Store. This building will be new urban, with retail on the first floor facing Main Street, and apartments above. The units above the first floor will be live work space, with people living in the units and if they wish, operating small businesses as permitted by the building owner covenants and city codes.
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