Keene has a long-standing reputation for having an exciting, active downtown that supports a wide variety of uses. As downtown businesses come and go, it is important that the community encourage an array of businesses that provide basic needs for the community and facilitate pedestrian activity, along with a variety of residential uses. The placement of those uses on first, second or higher floors within a building are also important to maintaining vibrancy. Retail and service businesses should continue to be placed on the first floor, with office and residential on the upper floors, in order to maintain walkability and support downtown as a destination.
Residential development is an increasingly prominent part of redevelopment in downtown Keene. Redevelopment that includes apartments, lofts, condos, and live/work scenarios can work well in downtown areas, and as developers seek ways to build in Keene, these types of housing could provide Keene with a more consistent street life and sustainable economy. This type of living is attractive to a young demographic, as well as executives, and will help attract new talent to the area. A diversity of housing types is important to maximizing the community's appeal to all ages.