"Ground-floor retail has traditionally been seen by planners, developers and neighbors as key promoting street-level activity and vibrant urban neighborhoods," writes Elliot Njus. "But more developers are starting to see potential downsides, too, which is pushing them to look at alternatives."
“Retail is a fine idea, but as a planning tool, I think it’s been applied too liberally,” said Spencer Welton, a senior vice president for Simpson Housing. “It’s oversupplying the retail market, essentially.”
Landlords in Portland that are struggling to fill vacancies are converting ground-level storefronts into unique apartments that offer high ceilings and abundant light. "Privacy has been a sticking point for some potential tenants, Welton said, but others find the idea of having their own front door appealing."