Historic downtowns offer a variety of building types from typical commercial buildings to government buildings such as city halls and courthouses, as well as churches, banks, theaters, warehouses, and industrial buildings. With downtowns large and small reemerging as the heart of a community, where one can experience entertainment, dining, and shopping, it makes sense that they would also be a desirable place to live. Converting underutilized upper story spaces in to attractive residential units helps not only the property owner but supports local economic development efforts and boosts public and private investment. Frazier Associates developed this brief technical guide for the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development’s Virginia Main Street program to give some inherent parameters for considering upper-story housing potential in typical historic downtown commercial buildings. Upper Story Residential Tech Sheet 3-2021