So, I did end up going with the multiple shops idea. After talking to Tauren Tom, we decided it would be interesting to try and rent out a few shops. I am not sure on the exact details but the shops will be approximately 8mx12.5m with the corner shop being bigger (or possibly 16m x 12.5). This would give approximately 100 square meters for people to put up their own shops. I don’t have any definite values, but the prices should be in the range of about 75-125L/week and 15-20 prims allocation and the ability to purchase more prims. But again, we will have to wait until I am done with everything and all the things are moved around so I can get exact numbers on how many prims are still open.
Additionally, I have the Living area now completed! They are attached below. There are currently 6 rooms available for rent (3 on first floor and 3 on second floor with the option to rent both floors). Rent prices, like shops, will not be determined until we get a final prim count on what is available and what is used. While it is not likely, it may be possible to snag a room for free depending on where we go. It is also possible that the rooms will never be up for rent and are reserved for members of our group. But again, this is something that will be decided later and thus I cannot give a definite answer.
Also, this project will likely take some time. I am currently only in a design phase and there is going to be a lot of work done to make sure we all like this design and that this will become our permanent design. I expect the designing to take at least until the end of the weekend. The actual building is going to be the long part as part of the design will be incorporating a lot of Mesh building materials in order to help optimize visitor (and our own) experience (I mean, help relive some lag).
After spending many months of redesigning straight in SL, I found it to be easier to actually make a plan first. This should prove a great learning experience as it will be great for when I begin the designing for the games I wish to make in the future. It may be worth following my posts in the future if you want to get into game design but not sure where to start. Building up a pool of assets is the most important thing for building a game after all!