Doing some very preliminary exploration of starting an event space/wedding venue in the northern New Jersey area. Is it at all realistic to consider residential properties in this search (large mansion-type spaces, lots of land buffering between neighboring properties), with the hope of converting them to a commercial property that would allow such business to operate? Or are there workarounds for using a space in this way while still being zoned residentially?
I'm not sure, but I think you can request to rezone the parcel from the county. It might take some convincing though.
County or city depending on where the property is.
Yeah, I agree with @William M. You have to check with the municipality and see if they're willing to allow it which may be difficult depending on how many other parcels in the area are commercial. For example if they're all residential then it's going to be difficult to make that happen, but it's definitely possible. If the numbers make sense, I think a mansion-type property would work perfectly for a wedding event. There's a similar place down by me in Aberdeen called The Addison Park which looks similar to a mansion and is now a wedding venue. I have a feeling you'll need to have a big budget for renovations though to convert it into the style you're looking for. Best of luck!