Beside the residence, manufacturing, mixed use and special purpose districts, there is the commercial district. Commercial districts are the areas which allow all kinds of commercial uses, such as business centers, shopping malls, cultural hubs, financial areas, Downtowns, city center etc. The commercial district is significant for the city’s or town’s economy as it provides lots of job opportunities for its residents and facilitate overall well-being of the area.
In total there are eight different commercial districts. Smaller shops are located in C1 and C2 districts which are located close to residential zones. Bigger stores with more variety of products can be found in the C4 district. C5 and C6 districts are business centers, whereas C3 is zoned for waterfront recreation, C7 for theme parks, and C8 for the car industry. (NYC City Planning)
According to the government regulations, building commercial centers in residential areas are forbidden. One of the main reasons is a difference in floor area ratio (FAR) in those two zones. The FAR in residential zones is smaller whereas in commercial areas they are mostly bigger or sometimes can be smaller too. If the developer wants to build a commercial construction in a residential area, he needs to apply for rezoning of the area first. Although, this is a long process and the desired outcome of a developer is rarely achieved. (Commercial Real Estate Loans, 2019)
Every commercial district has its commercial center, which are designed with multiple purposes, such as opportunities for business meetings or cultural gatherings. Most commercial centers are not too big, so it is possible to move within the whole area by foot on sidewalks or pathways. Also, commercial centers must have good and accessible infrastructure to reach all other parts of the city by being connected to a variety of transportation. To avoid traffic problems, commercial centers need to manage parking lots, and construction of underground parking spaces are highly desirable in this area. (TDM Encyclopedia, 2015)