From Charm Cities Wiki

Commercial properties are, broadly defined, any buildings where goods and services are exchanged. This broader definition includes offices, however, which in some ways act more like industrial buildings (and are treated like one in Cities: Skylines), since their major function in a city-builder game is usually to provide employment.

A more interesting definition might be found in the terminology developed by sociologist Ray Oldenburg, inspired by anthropogeographer Yi-Fu Tuan. Oldenburg proposed three types of place:

  • the "first place", the home where one lives, obviously maps to residential buildings, either public or private
  • the "second place", the workplace, will correspond to industrial and office buildings for most HONs (though municipal properties, commercial properties, and even some residential buildings also serve as workplaces)
  • the "third place", per Oldenburg, is "where you relax in public, where you encounter familiar faces and make new acquaintances." This is perhaps closest to the function that commercial properties aim to serve in Charm Cities - though other types of buildings, including public spaces like parks or libraries and private institutions like churches, can also serve this function.

On one level, commercial properties typically provide goods which HONs need or want, such as:

In keeping with their position as a third place, however, commercial buildings are also places where relationships may be formed and strengthened and where people can develop their skills. Many (if not most) commercial properties serve as meeting places, where HONs can either gather in group meetups to meet with others who share their traits or meet one-on-one to strengthen existing friendships. Some of them can even function as growth spaces, where HONs can work on personal projects that help them grow as people.

Many factors will affect the kinds of goods a commercial area sells and the kinds of meetups it hosts, including local demand, land value, and crime.

For some examples, here's a small collection of possible commercial areas:

Property Environment Goods sold One-on-one meetings Group meetups Growth space
Grocery store Varies Food, varying in price/quality No No No
Fast food Low land value Cheap low-quality food Yes No No
Artsy coffeeshop Medium land value Moderately priced quality food Yes For creatives For activists
Fancy restaurant High land value Small amounts of expensive high-status food Yes No No
Clothing store Varies Clothing Yes No No
Fashion house High land value Fashionable clothing Yes For fashionistas For fashion designers
Bookstore Medium land value Low-cost luxuries Yes For bookworms For writers
Art studio High land value High-cost luxuries Yes Frequent, for creatives For artists

As can be seen, an extraordinarily wide range of commercial areas is possible.

Commercial properties are usually growables, but a handful of specialized commercial buildings like markets may be ploppable. In most of the world, and in US cities that have modernized their zoning codes, it's very common for a building to have both a commercial and residential use (e.g. a shopfront on the first floor and housing above).