Living Above Retail Space?

Yesterday it was a question about courtyard living, today it’s about living above a retail space.

Any comments on buying a unit in the 2nd floor above the retail space at Trace North? I’m wondering whether the sound isolation will be good enough to sleep soundly even if the restaurant below the unit is open (although they will probably be closed at 10:00 anyway).

About Matt Goyer

I love condos, lofts, floating homes, new construction and mid-century moderns so much so that since starting this blog in 2006 I've written over 2,000 blog posts about them!

For years I resisted becoming a real estate agent preferring to be a marketing executive at Redfin but after leaving Redfin (after seven years!) I caved in the spring of 2014 and became a broker. So if you need help finding that "Urbnlivn-style" place or selling your home email me at matt@urbnlivn.com, I'd be happy to help you.

Prior to Urbnlivn and Redfin, I worked at Microsoft after graduating from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Mathematics with a major in computer science.

You can also find me on Twitter, @MattGoyer, or LinkedIn.

  • just another dirty renter

    I’d be more concerned about smoke getting in when windows are open from all the smokers out front of the restaurant.

  • just another dirty renter

    I’d be more concerned about smoke getting in when windows are open from all the smokers out front of the restaurant.

  • My Other Car’s the Tardis

    @ 1: You’re absolutely right. Back when I was a grad student @ the UW, I used to live in an apartment above the Bulldog newstand and Magus books, right next door to Cafe Allegro. I still remember one summer morning waking up from a vivid dream that I was smoking–which I don’t do in real life! It was heavy smoke for next door seeping in from my open window.

  • My Other Car’s the Tardis

    @ 1: You’re absolutely right. Back when I was a grad student @ the UW, I used to live in an apartment above the Bulldog newstand and Magus books, right next door to Cafe Allegro. I still remember one summer morning waking up from a vivid dream that I was smoking–which I don’t do in real life! It was heavy smoke for next door seeping in from my open window.

  • menace

    The noisy part will be during the time the tenant improvement is being done on the commercial space. The construction noise building out the commercial space will very likely be heard.

  • menace

    The noisy part will be during the time the tenant improvement is being done on the commercial space. The construction noise building out the commercial space will very likely be heard.

  • rollin st.

    We lived in a courtyard facing unit apartment a couple of years ago and couldn’t wait to move. The noise was awful. There were always people out there talking, drinking, smoking, etc and it felt like they were in our livingroom. Not to mention the noise from people’s tv’s and stereos all mixing together into one big mess. I actually wanted the courtyard unit because of how beautiful the courtyard looked but I quickly learned it was a mistake that I will never make again!

  • rollin st.

    We lived in a courtyard facing unit apartment a couple of years ago and couldn’t wait to move. The noise was awful. There were always people out there talking, drinking, smoking, etc and it felt like they were in our livingroom. Not to mention the noise from people’s tv’s and stereos all mixing together into one big mess. I actually wanted the courtyard unit because of how beautiful the courtyard looked but I quickly learned it was a mistake that I will never make again!

  • sound sleeper

    “…whether the sound isolation will be good enough to sleep soundly…”

    If you have to ask – it may not be a good match for you. Try a higher floor.

  • sound sleeper

    “…whether the sound isolation will be good enough to sleep soundly…”

    If you have to ask – it may not be a good match for you. Try a higher floor.

  • city dweller

    I wouldn’t even consider it personally. There will be noise, but it might not be greatest through the concrete deck. You’ll have noise from patrons on the street entering and leaving the restaurant (and obviously talking), then there’s the smokers, the constant noise of kitchen hoods, and related mechanical equipment (think a low drone), the tenant finish construction noise, and then when the place is closed at night you’ll have cleaning crews, staff leaving after hours, and then bright and early you may have more frequent trasj and recycling pick-up.

  • city dweller

    I wouldn’t even consider it personally. There will be noise, but it might not be greatest through the concrete deck. You’ll have noise from patrons on the street entering and leaving the restaurant (and obviously talking), then there’s the smokers, the constant noise of kitchen hoods, and related mechanical equipment (think a low drone), the tenant finish construction noise, and then when the place is closed at night you’ll have cleaning crews, staff leaving after hours, and then bright and early you may have more frequent trasj and recycling pick-up.

  • http://www.hotelmodera.com Bryson

    I have worked in several hotels and every one of them has rooms above their restaurant. While noise is a concern, the most common complaint of guests staying in these rooms is the “kitchen smells” wafting in through the window. As a current resident of Trace North Floor 2 I would say that the disturbance for me is more with the ongoing construction of the retail spaces and the shouts of late-night revelers. I will soon be arming myself with water balloons…beware!

    The layout of the 2nd floor is such that one can be near the street or on the shared patio (or both). The patio units are, obviously, far enough towards the interior of the building that they have additional protection from some of the annoyances the previous poster mentioned. Just the same, some of what he/she described is very accurate. All in all I would still characterize the 2nd floor of Trace North as very livable.

    Are we really this unfamiliar with living in a big city?

  • http://www.hotelmodera.com Bryson

    I have worked in several hotels and every one of them has rooms above their restaurant. While noise is a concern, the most common complaint of guests staying in these rooms is the “kitchen smells” wafting in through the window. As a current resident of Trace North Floor 2 I would say that the disturbance for me is more with the ongoing construction of the retail spaces and the shouts of late-night revelers. I will soon be arming myself with water balloons…beware!

    The layout of the 2nd floor is such that one can be near the street or on the shared patio (or both). The patio units are, obviously, far enough towards the interior of the building that they have additional protection from some of the annoyances the previous poster mentioned. Just the same, some of what he/she described is very accurate. All in all I would still characterize the 2nd floor of Trace North as very livable.

    Are we really this unfamiliar with living in a big city?