The Town Square Neighborhood Development Corporation (“TSNDC”) — the nonprofit organization created to foster development of Miami’s emerging Arsht Center neighborhood — unveiled an aspirational vision for developing the area into a vibrant, thriving urban destination. The presentation was made by TSNDC Chair Armando Codina, CEO and chairman of Codina Partners, principal advisors from Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects and traffic consulting firm Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc., at the Town Square Community Stakeholders’ Meeting.
“This aspirational master plan is the first step of a dream that will become a living document and it is the Town Square Neighborhood Development’s vision for a livable community, with a mix of education, cultural, housing, entertainment, recreation, civic and retail centers with sufficient public transportation and parking,” said Codina. “In designing the plan, we were respectful of Miami 21 and worked closely with elected officials. We hope that Miami’s elected officials along with the area’s neighbors and property owners are inspired by our plan.”
The TSNDC master plan was presented by Cesar Pelli, senior principal and Mitchell Hirsch, principal, at Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. Pelli, the original architect for the Arsht Center, presented his vision for the neighborhood. The aspirations are grounded on specific planning principles which will be developed into a master plan for the area. “There are critical precepts necessary to allow the Arsht Center neighborhood to evolve and flourish into a great community: These planning principles include creating an organized system of public open spaces, augmenting connectivity at all scales, balancing building density, and ensuring a dynamic mix of urban uses surrounded by supporting landmarks,” said Pelli. During the presentation, the Pelli team outlined details about how each of these principles shaped their vision for Town Square neighborhood.
As part of the plan, traffic consultant John J. Kennedy, co-founder of Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. provided traffic and transportation suggestions. “As the plan evolves, we must maintain an open dialogue with the Florida Department of Transportation, local officials, developers and design teams for other area developments in order to meet transportation infrastructure requirements,” said Kennedy.
In today’s presentation, Kennedy noted that the development of the area should be done in concert with a robust public transit system that could include an extension of the Metrorail system, a looping of the Metromover system and a type of on-street trolley system in the 14th Street corridor extending from Biscayne Boulevard to the existing Metrorail system.
John Richard, CEO of the Arsht Center noted that TSNDC’s work is a natural extension of the Center’s mission, “The Arsht Center was created to serve as a catalyst from the very seed of its planting as a cultural destination in the Omni district. Billions of new development investments in the area over the past decade signal the fulfillment of the Center’s mission as the economic engine in the district. Like a timeless ballet choreographed for future generations, great neighborhoods are formed with vision, anticipation and collaboration toward creating a place where people choose to live and visit routinely.”
More info can be found at www.townsquaremiami.org.