The Underline, a planned project to transform the underutilized land below Miami’s Metrorail into a 10-mile linear park, urban trail and living art destination, recently announced a $115,000 donation from Florida Blue.
The money will be earmarked for the “Brickell Backyard” portion of the project, the first phase slated for construction, which will include a series of park-like “rooms” for commuters that are tied together by a series of parks and punctuated by trails for cyclists and pedestrians.
“The Underline is an extraordinary example of businesses and communities coming together to support a healthy lifestyle and Florida Blue is proud to be joining this effort,” said South Florida market president Penny Shaffer. “Innovation and collaboration are such an important part of our company’s culture and The Underline will be a living display of this, a safe place where cyclists, walkers, artists and families all come together.”
Once completed, The Underline, which will act as both an urban trail and living art destination, will be anchored on the north end at the Miami River near Brickell Avenue and on the south end by Metrorail’s Dadeland South Station. The Underline will encourage Miami residents to embrace a new urban lifestyle by walking, biking or taking mass transit as an alternative to driving.
The project also will have substantial economic impact by encouraging mixed use development along US1, increasing property values, adding jobs and inviting adjacent businesses to activate and connect to The Underline. In total, The Underline is anticipated to bring an additional $170 million in total economic output during construction and $50 million annually after completion.
“We are thankful to Florida Blue for recognizing the importance of this project through their generous donation and the shared vision we have for transforming our community,” said Meg Daly, president and CEO of Friends of The Underline. “It is through the support of community leaders like Florida Blue that we will be able to make The Underline a reality.”
The Knight Foundation recently announced The Underline as a winner of the Knight Cities Challenge, a competition that seeks new ideas from innovators and how they plan to improve the future of their city. Ground-breaking for the “Brickell Backyard” segment is planned for fall 2017.
For more information about Friends of The Underline visit www.theunderline.org.