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Overtown Reinvestment Master Plan
Overtown Reinvestment Master Plan Project Type: Master Planning Project Status: Completed Completed: October 2023 Site Area: 413 AC Team: Plusurbia Design (Lead), Hood Design Studio, Studio Roberto Rovira, Watson+Co, Streetsense Client: Terra Group, City of Miami   The Overtown Revitalization Master Plan recognizes this neighborhood’s deeply inspiring and unique history as a cornerstone of Greater Miami’s celebrated historical legacy. Built around a strong foundation for innovative planning and development, the plan draws on the community’s original cultural identity, current residents, and surrounding communities. Thoughtfully blending these elements together, this project strives to revitalize one of Miami’s most celebrated Black neighborhoods through this methodical planning approach, reawakening the neighborhood to unbridled excellence by incorporating displacement mitigation tools, affordability provisions, and other inclusive redevelopment measures. It aims to create a bustling and better-connected district by empowering existing stakeholders in partnership with local agencies and non-profits, restoring the once-prominent destination for residents, visitors, and culture-seekers. The heart of Overtown's revitalization master plan is creating a narrative that aligns with its history. This strategy examines Overtown over the years, analyzing its past and present to plan for a successful future. The following goals have been carefully curated in response to Overtown’s full story and aim to provide positive changes and opportunities while remaining true to the neighborhood’s origins. Our main goals include: Mitigating displacement and protecting the neighborhood's character to empower and secure Overtown’s present and future residents. For a successful revitalization plan to be implemented in Overtown, it is essential to prioritize the community's current needs and the preservation of the neighborhood’s cultural character. By implementing this as the baseline goal for the project, residents will maintain ownership of their neighborhood, and the unique qualities of their community will be respected. Providing public infrastructure that serves and reflects Overtown’s vibrant community to create a dependable neighborhood fabric. This includes accessible sidewalks, bike lanes, amenities, and opportunities to highlight existing examples of Historic Overtown within the built environment. Establishing a planting strategy throughout the neighborhood to protect and enhance Overtown’s sense of identity while promoting a healthier community. Large flora can quickly provide health benefits to a neighborhood, such as drastically reducing the effects of urban heat, increasing air and water quality, and boosting mental health. Moreover, with careful planning, planting strategies can become part of a place’s identity and serve as a living local landmark. Developing stronger connections between East and West Overtown to lessen the neighborhood’s interruption by highway structures. Addressing the many underpasses that serve as portals from one side of the community to the other may provide opportunities for improved connectivity and possible transformative spaces. In addition, establishing a cohesive design palette for the public realm will also help create visual connectivity throughout the neighborhood. Enhancing pathways to existing transit stations to support Overtown’s influence as a major transit hub in the city. With the recent development of impactful transit projects in the neighborhood, it is important to consider future transit development in the area and how it can best serve both local residents and the city at large.
City Terrace CDC
City Terrace Community Development Corporation Project Type: Transportation Planning & Urban Design Project Status: Ongoing Dates: June 2022 - present Site Area: approx. 6 acres Team: Plusurbia Design + BusinessFlare Client: Opa-Locka Community Development Corporation Inc. The premise of this project is to provide General Planning and Economic Development Strategy Services to provide a holistic development vision, strategies, and recommendations for the future development of the Opa-Locka CDC  properties as part of a larger special district. This planning exercise consisted of a dual-scoped approach. It included a high-level analysis and suggestions for Opa-locka’s downtown and surroundings, as well as a more detailed master plan and recommendations for a transit-oriented development (TOD) area. This TOD area is proposed to be located between the city’s Tri-Rail station and downtown, capitalizing on these assets and the properties owned or considered for ownership by the Opa Locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC), reflecting their pivotal role in the area’s more extensive redevelopment. Specifically, the goals of the project are to: Create a walkable TOD destination for the City of Opa-Locka that helps reposition their place brand from unsafe and unpredictable to the next Miami transformation story and a place of opportunity. Maximize the development potential of the OLCDC properties as part of a larger strategy to leverage revitalization (commercial and residential) by applying Urban Core and TOD principles to the area and identifying market potential that supports financially feasible new development Create a phasing and acquisition strategy that maximizes leverage, ROI, and future opportunities for OLCDC and their partners, including the County, CRA, and City.
Playa de Ponce – Borinquen Trail
Playa de Ponce Segment - Borinquen Trail Project Type: Mobility Plan Project Status: Completed Dates: February 2023 Site Area: 6 miles Team: Plusurbia Design This rails-to-trails study proposes a network of paths and first-phase interventions in Playa de Ponce, Puerto Rico. This vision report was developed in conjunction with community leaders, non-profits, and government stakeholders in Playa de Ponce, a historically underserved urban center on the South coast of Puerto Rico. Plusurbia Design proposed to carry out a study for Borinquen Trail for Para la Naturaleza’s cultural projects grant. Plusurbia Design carried out this study of Borinquen Trail for Para la Naturaleza’s cultural projects grant. The study mapped the existing conditions of Playa de Ponce’s mobility and public spaces, proposed a multi-modal implementation plan for walking, biking, and transit, and developed creative placemaking strategies. The results from this study will help guide the growth of Playa de Ponce by connecting its neighborhoods with cultural heritage sites and the rest of Ponce. The plan proposed to build a continuous ‘complete street approach’ along the route with bicycle routes and amenities, such as street trees, cultural centers, parks, bioswales, wayfinding signage, and historic property markers. The development of this new trail would create better streets and public spaces in Playa de Ponce while also improving access to jobs and opportunities. Furthermore, the plan included recommendations for implementing climate resilience, stormwater management, microgrids, storm surge defense, and historic preservation strategies. The city council is currently considering measures to implement the recommendations in the study. If approved, residents can look forward to a continuous bicycle route between Playa and the city center and a continuous path along the Southern coast connecting with communities along the former railroad. Ultimately, these proposed changes will lead to a more livable and sustainable Playa de Ponce. By providing residents with reliable and accessible transit options, the city can move towards achieving its goal of a greener future.
East Gateway District
East Gateway District Project Type: Master Planning Project Status: Completed | October 2022 Dates: August - October 2022 Site Area: 170 acres Team: Plusurbia Design Client: East Gateway Coalition Greenville, South Carolina is known for the story of its downtown revitalization and embrace of planning to reinvent itself into one of the most vibrant, fastest-growing cities in the country. However, its most popular entrance, providing visitors with their first impressions of the city, must reflect this modern reality. Instead, the Gateway Area contains a series of disconnected development patterns that have evolved independently over the last 200 years, including a National Register-listed Historic Neighborhood, the city’s Arena, and the county’s Law Enforcement Center. The Community Vision Plan embraces the neighborhood’s assets and introduces strategies to weave the built environment back together, better establishing physical and psychological connections to the adjacent downtown. The project began by reimagining the central corridor as a multimodal boulevard flanked by mixed-use, urban-style development. From there, introducing a transition zone offers a way to preserve the neighborhood's historic character, while allowing the corridor to reach its ideal density. Furthermore, exploring additional infill development opportunities around the arena reveals the potential for a new entertainment district that will continue to build on Greenville's legacy of great placemaking.
The Underline Special District
The Underline Special District Plan Project Type: Urban Planning and Design Project Status: Completed Dates: April 2019 - February 2020 Site Area: 10+ mile Corridor Team: Plusurbia Design + Tindale Oliver (Benesch) Client: Friends of the Underline, Inc. The Underline, a 10+ mile green corridor along the Miami-Dade Metro Rail, has the potential to impact its surrounding areas through careful planning and zoning positively. Inversely, the corridor will significantly benefit by assuring that surrounding areas are protected, that stakeholders are provided safe and pleasant access to the corridor, and that any potential future development is appropriate to its context and its privileged Transit Oriented location. This study calibrates through planning and zoning the future development and mobility improvements along the length of the corridor spanning five municipalities. To maximize the corridor’s positive impact and balance changes resulting from the creation of this Green Corridor, the study proposes mid-scale development that transitions from denser and more intense transit-oriented areas to single-family residential neighborhoods. Future development and infrastructure improvements are supported through financing strategies outlined in the study to allow the corridor's evolution to be incremental. Recommendations are necessary to understand this balance and propose improvements to development standards and value capture mechanisms to capitalize on the value created to build and maintain the Corridor’s positive impact.
Borinquen Trail
Borinquen Trail - Rails 2 Trails Project Type: Mobility Project Status: Ongoing Dates: September 2020 - Present Site Area: Islandwide Team: Plusurbia Design Client: Internal - Pro Bono Borinquen Trail is a proposal in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Historic Building Drawings Society to reuse the former railroad right-of-way. The vision is the transformation of Puerto Rico’s former railroad right-of-way repurposed as an off-road path network for sustainable and low-speed transportation, integrating community initiatives through an islandwide framework. The project traverses coastal communities along 680 Kilometers, passing along tropical beaches, forests, and urban centers. The Borinquen Trail plans to connect cultural and historic destinations (such as old sugar mills, former rail infrastructure such as bridges and tunnels, and miles of coastal areas) and economic hubs such as traditional town centers and recreational / sports facilities, including national parks. Rail-to-trails are multi-purpose public paths created from former railroad corridors. They are often flat or follow a gentle grade as they traverse urban, suburban, and rural communities in America. Throughout the extension of this corridor, an educational program will provide context to the historical use of the corridor, including the role railroads played in Puerto Rico’s 19th and early 20th-century economy, as its route extends along the coast and links to former sugar mills in the mountains. Most former railroad right-of-way runs along public lands, making the public sector a key partner. Learn more and show your support at the following link: http://rutaborinquen.org
Las Olas
Project Type: Corridor Analysis and Design of Multimodal Alternatives Project Status: Completed | August 2020 Site Area: 3.5 mi Team: Plusurbia Design + The Corradino Group (lead) Client: City of Fort Lauderdale Las Olas Boulevard is a vital link for multimodal traffic. It is a strategic part of the roadway network and the most direct east-west route for people walking and cycling. Our project vision is to connect residents and visitors of Fort Lauderdale through the enhancement of this iconic boulevard representing our history and future. As the major thoroughfare connecting downtown Fort Lauderdale and Central Beach, Las Olas Boulevard must balance moving people efficiently through a balance of transportation needs inclusive of pedestrian, bicycling, vehicular, and transit modes, with space programmed to safely accommodate other alternative modes, such as scooters, when they arrive. Las Olas is the most direct route between Downtown Fort Lauderdale and the beach. Its centrality also places it within reach of transit, first response, and park facilities. The goal is to reimagine the 3.5-mile length of Las Olas Boulevard from Downtown through The Isles. Las Olas Boulevard is considered the critical identity street for Fort Lauderdale, and our challenge is to build on the strengths already in place to create a memorable image; a world-class street. Las Olas Boulevard today has four distinct characters: Downtown, The Shops, Colee Hammock, and The Isles. Several variables comprise the makeup of each street segment: 1- Pedestrian areas, bicycle, and scooter lanes, asphalt for cars and vehicles, all things that move and are in motion; 2- Amenities throughout, such as landscaping, street furniture, signage, and lighting. These elements are static and have different purposes in different street parts. These elements are the basis of the visual identity for each street segment; 3- Different roles during the day and at nighttime; and 4- The street also differs from Weekday, Weeknight, Weekend, and Event operations. The design of Las Olas Boulevard strives to create a street that achieves the following for residents and visitors: • Promote quality of life through context-sensitive design • Efficient use of the road network to allow for a variety of uses, such as open streets • Safe, comfortable, and direct routes for nonmotorized modes of travel such as bicycles and scooters
Hialeah Heights
Hialeah Heights Project Type: Master Planning Project Status: Completed Completion Date: April 2020 Site Area: 33 acres Team: Plusurbia Design Client: City of Hialeah Emerald Bay is a Conceptual Master Plan created in collaboration with the property owners, their consultants, and the City of Hialeah’s Planning Department to encourage a mixed-use, connected walkable development. The initial research and stakeholder meetings of the existing municipal regulatory conditions and a review of existing site plans in the area showed great potential to create a traditional neighborhood-style site planning and development framework. This project aims to provide a well-knit neighborhood lifestyle in a walkable environment. It offers several green spaces and amenities such as a clubhouse, pool, dog park, fitness center, and water features. It also considers a multimodal approach by providing walkable and bikeable streets that can connect to adjacent future projects. The design is divided into two properties with current industrial use that are designed similarly and function independently. This proposed multi-family design, within the City’s annexed area named “Hialeah Heights” at the northwest of the City’s boundaries, is planned to provide an urban framework that can expand to adjacent properties connecting to the proposed streets and block structure. It proposes 900 medium-income rental multifamily units designed in 3-4 story garden-style apartment buildings with 2- and 3-bedroom units. The design creates a traditional neighborhood with diverse building types, creating an exciting and vibrant community that encourages pedestrian movement and social engagement.
Wynwood Norte
Project Type: Neighborhood Revitalization Project Status: Completed | September 2019 Site Area: 207 acres Team: PlusUrbia Design + C-Street Collaborative Client: Wynwood Community Enhancement Association (WCEA) Faced with development pressure from Wynwood Business District to the south, Midtown to the east, and Design District to the north, the Wynwood Norte Neighborhood is at risk of being redeveloped without a clear, holistic vision where a historically cohesive community may lose its current identity and strengths. This, in turn, may affect the future livability of its current neighbors and future residents. This community-led Master Planning exercise surveys the neighborhood, its character, and conditions; it presents a comprehensive Vision Plan integrating what residents, business owners, community leaders, and stakeholders of Wynwood Norte want to see in their community with best planning practices. This plan emphasizes an approach to growth that supports existing residents. This plan recognizes and addresses residents' fear of keeping their homes by introducing measures to mitigate displacement and improve affordability. Proposed strategies help residents reinvest in existing homes and to provide residents with expanded and better-quality housing options within the neighborhood. Proactive steps are taken to preserve the existing residential fabric while introducing incentives to develop or redevelop vacant and/or underutilized sites to meet community needs. It prioritizes public investments in infrastructure, transportation, open spaces, and parks, promoting sustainability and green building practices while providing equitable access to jobs and services.  The plan proposes strategies to create a safe and healthy environment while preserving the unique history and cultural identity of Wynwood Norte. Calibration of planning and zoning is paramount to maximize the neighborhood's assets and guide future development. 
Suburban Corridor to TOD
Turning a Suburban corridor into a Transit Oriented Neighborhood Node Project Type: Transportation Planning & Urban Design Project Status: Completed Dates: 2018 Site Area: approx. 1/4 mile Team: Plusurbia Design Client: Pro-bono Plusurbia is devoted to spurring and improving development in suburban corridors converting them into transit-oriented developments. These urban centers encourage ridership and promote walkability, mobility, and accessibility for all. The incremental conversion of a former shopping center into a mixed-use development is a simple example of what can be implemented in suburban areas around the country to provide ex-urban communities with the services and access needed to reduce traffic and car dependency. Low to Mid-rise buildings provide a variety of housing and increase the population needed to support transit use. Large swaths of parking lots fronting the street can be replaced with street-level retail with active frontages, promoting walkability and encouraging residents to shop locally, use transportation, and fulfill many of their daily needs on their way to or from their destinations. Pavement reductions and increased tree canopy along the street reduce the heat island effect, creating a more comfortable walking and biking experience. These retrofits can provide an economic engine, convert sprawling suburban shopping centers into compact and vibrant urban centers, encourage the use of public transportation, and promote a better quality of life.
Hialeah TOD
Hialeah Transit-Oriented Development | Guidelines and Zoning Amendments Project Type: Transit-Oriented Development Project Status: Completed Completion Date: October 2016 Site Area: 313 acres Team: PlusUrbia Client: City of Hialeah A 1925 suburb’s transformation from car dependency to 21st-century commuter rail connectivity The Hialeah Transit Oriented Development Plan (TOD) will transition two of the city’s car-dependent suburban, underutilized warehouse districts into vibrant, mixed-use, compact communities served by premium commuter rail.  The fully-adopted zoning will create 313 acres of walkable, urban development in a working-class community that has not benefited from significant economic growth in decades. For the first time in the city’s 90-year history, it will create dense, walkable, 24-hour mixed-use districts linked to some of the best fixed rail commuter transit in South Florida. The enacted legislation creates two compact districts to address Hialeah’s need for workforce housing, adaptive reuse, job creation, civic space, complete streets, and dense urban living. Hialeah, Florida, was incorporated in 1925 and was best known for the Hialeah Race Track in its early years.  The city grew rapidly after the Cuban Revolution in 1959, becoming a popular destination for Cuban exiles who began transforming the city into a working-class community. The pair of large TODs will transform Hialeah from the typical, nearly 100 percent car-dependent American suburb into a prime example of urban living. Complete Streets Guidelines, adopted in parallel with the two TODs, will transform suburbia into complete districts with pedestrian, bicycle, and transit mobility networks. Compact urban development created by the TOD districts is within walking distance of three rail nodes that provide direct rail links to regional job centers and three international airports. The city’s leadership in creating two major TODs will unlock the potential of primarily underused existing train stations. TOD will introduce more equitable, affordable, sustainable, and healthy communities to Hialeah. Transit Oriented Development regulations are a significant step toward reducing the cost of living for Miami-Dade County’s second-largest municipality. WalletHub ranked Hialeah as the second worst city in America regarding income gap applied to housing affordability, where “nearly one out of three tenants in Hialeah spends at least 50 percent of their net monthly income on rent, dwarfing the 35 percent maximum recommended global standard.” TOD zoning requires one space for each one-bedroom unit, generally under 650 square feet, and 1.5 spaces for larger units. Developers can reduce the parking requirement by a half-space per unit by paying into a parking fund that will pay for centralized garages, increasing walkability. Relieved of the expense of building excessive parking, developers can offer units at a more affordable price. The cost of living is further reduced by proximity to rail, eliminating the high cost of car ownership. Millennials searching for housing have been largely priced out of greater Miami. In Hialeah, the sixth most populous city in Florida, Market Station, and Transfer Station TODs will provide mixed-use districts with micro units connected by rail to all the region’s activity centers. A wide range of price points will serve empty nesters and young families seeking workforce housing. Increased density promotes arts, restaurants, and shops. All buildings must have ground-floor retail to activate the street. Market Station District is a continuation of the nearby existing LEAH Arts District. TOD zoning encourages adaptive reuse of existing warehouse structures.  Complete Streets promote healthy living options for mobility beyond the car. Their design is considered parallel to the uses they serve and incentivizes civic life. In Market Station, a high-rise allows 125 units per acre and up to 12 stories via a bonus program to get three additional stories. Mid-rise areas are zoned for 125 units per acre and up to eight stories by adding three stories via bonus. Low-rise areas are zoned for up to 36 units per acre at a maximum of four stories. High densities in lower buildings promote smaller, more affordable dwelling units. Transfer Station has the same density, with high-rise capped at eight stories, mid-rise at six, and low-rise at three. Bonus development rights can be attained by providing benefits such as affordable / workforce housing, public park / open space, LEED certification, adaptive reuse of legacy structures, and cash contributions to a public benefits fund. The benefits fund can be used to acquire, create, maintain, and restore green and open spaces. Market Station TOD encourages historic preservation by restoring the 1926 Seaboard Air Line Railroad depot, which was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1995. APA Florida 2017 Award of Merit in the Neighborhood Planning category
Little Havana Revitalization Master Plan
Little Havana 'Me Importa' Revitalization Master Plan Project Type: Neighborhood Revitalization Project Status: Completed Site Area: 1,700 acres Team: PlusUrbia Design + National Trust for Historic Preservation + Dade Heritage Trust + Urban Health Partnerships + Live Healthy Little Havana + City of Miami Client: Health Foundation of South Florida Plusurbia led the team in the partnership, preserving the authenticity of Little Havana while creating design guidelines for proper growth and development and setting the stage for zoning recommendations. The unprecedented project was in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which named Little Havana a “National Treasure.” The effort also focused on healthy urban living, a goal of project partner Live Healthy Little Havana. Dade Heritage Trust and Urban Health Partnerships were also partners in this initiative to retain character, density, scale, and affordability in Little Havana. This is an outgrowth of PlusUrbia’s advocacy for a complete streets approach to the pending FDOT redesign of the Calle Ocho corridor (SW 7 and SW 8 streets between SW 27 and Brickell avenue). Images were created of a 21st-century Calle Ocho with multimodal transportation alternatives such as dedicated bike and transit lanes, comfortable wide sidewalks, and additional safe crosswalks in a vibrant urban setting. Dade Heritage Trust 2017 Annual Preservation Award Making Cities Livable Conference - Honor Award for Excellence - A Healthy City for All 2019 APA Florida 2019 Award of Excellence in the Grassroots Initiative category APA Florida Gold Coast Chapter 2019 Award of Excellence for Best Plan, Report, or Study         
Coconut Grove Master Implementation Plan
Coconut Grove Master Plan Project Type: Visioning & Master Implementation Plan Project Status: Completed Site Area: +/- 150 acres - study area Team: PlusUrbia + Perkins+Will Client: Coconut Grove Business Improvement District (BID) Created from extensive stakeholder input, the plan is a comprehensive overview and specific action roadmap to guide proper growth that positively impacts economic development and quality of life. The results-oriented plan provides the tools to improve the identity and character, open space, mobility, land use and form, community, and resiliency of Coconut Grove’s Village Core. These tools are organized into six building blocks essential to maintaining the Grove’s history of lush greenery, idyllic waterfront, unique restaurants/retail, and a one-of-a-kind village vibe.  The goal is to create a vibrant Village Core while protecting the tranquil and livable adjacent residential neighborhoods that make Coconut Grove Miami’s unique Garden District. The master plan contains decisive action steps that empower the BID to re-energize the heart of the Village Core and have a clear long-term roadmap for the years to come.  It establishes the BID as the central coordinating body to ensure that great ideas become fully-implemented physical improvements. With this document, Grovites, elected officials, and municipal departments will have a comprehensive tool to deliver the combined synthesized goals established by the BID, the Village Council, the Grove 2030, government agencies, and other previous plans and studies. APA Florida 2019 Award of Merit in the Neighborhood Planning category APA Florida - Gold Coast - 2019 Award of Merit Implementation Award
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