Strategy: find commercial tenants for cute mixed-use "house"

4 Replies

A commercially zoned section of town here in Bucks County PA has a mixed use property for sale, and I am interested.  

It's residential upstairs (1 apartment), and the downstairs is zoned commercial.  The issue is the structure is very much a "house" with siding and shutters and I keep thinking it looks too "cute" to be a property that means "BUSINESS !" you know? 

There is no commercial tenant now, but there used to be a law office.  Short of recruiting Mrs. Clause and letting her bake cookies in the property, I was wondering if any of you experienced folks have interesting ideas to attract commercial tenants?

The condition of the 1st floor (commercial) part of the property does not have a kitchen, just a half bathroom. 

I have thought that an office  would be good, and maybe a day care for children to name a few that came to mind.

Are there other opportunities that can actually work on a commercial property that just doesn't look the part.  It seems like it might be harder to find tenants to me.

I purchased the office building on the right and it came with a 150 year old house on the left zoned commercial.  It was in rough shape and I was going to tear it down.  A friend convinced me to let him try to get a tenant and he succeeded.  Its a boutique shop now and the owner lives upstairs.  Advertise a work live space.  Also put a for rent sign out front.  When you get people that call looking for residential.  Let them know what the space is and see if they know anyone interested.  You will be amazed at the number of people interested in work/live spaces.

Hi Ash,

Thanks for this insight, I kept thinking about that opportunity as a 2 tenant problem, but didn't realize it could be 1 tenant interested in the residential apartment and the commercial front!

I am encouraged, thanks for your help-


I impute in my area there are quite a few buildings like that. the tenants include computer repair, pipe shops/ "head shops, and professionals like attorneys. the few that I can think of that turn heads gave hold square shaped signs in front which to me says "business" versus rounded softer signs that look more like housing. just a thought too, a boutique bakery or flower shop could be a good fit as the house could add to a "home baked" or "grandma's house" type of feel. best of luck
No bakery or food prep businesses without a kitchen. Best for a small specialty shop or office. Advertise as a live work space and rent together. The area will probably have an impact. what other shops are around? Maybe a small beauty parlor, nail salon, art studio, music lessons, or specialty sales books, clothing but it is anout what the area would support, what's missing.

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