City commission approves Downtown streetscape project

By Deserae Del Campo….

A variety of concepts have been put forth to enhance Downtown Coral Gables.

City of Coral Gables commissioners recently approved a much-anticipated streetscape project for Downtown Coral Gables that will transform Miracle Mile and Giralda Avenue into an urban and vibrant pedestrian friendly destination.

“This is a great victory for local merchants, a historic opportunity for the community and an important milestone for the entire city,” said Brad Rosenblatt, president of the Business Improvement District (BID) for Coral Gables. “The efforts to bring this plan to action were reaffirmed in 2008 when the streetscape design committee was created by the BID to address the redevelopment of Downtown Coral Gables, and it is exciting to see what began three years ago, is finally coming to fruition.”

The streetscape design for both Miracle Mile and Giralda Avenue calls for the installation of improved urban lighting, wider sidewalks, tree canopy, benches, kiosks, the development of cleaner and more welcoming connections or “paseos” to garages and alleyways along with mid-block parks, outdoor art, intimate public space and plazas for events and gatherings. The plan also creates a better balance between pedestrian and vehicular traffic by converting the current angled parking to parallel parking to support pedestrian circulation.

“The goal of this project is to put Downtown Coral Gables on the radar for tourists and locals as a shopping and pedestrian-friendly destination where people want to come to again and again,” said Mari Gallet, executive director of the Coral Gables Business Improvement District. “The enhancements proposed will only support businesses, visitors and residents for many generations to come.”

The next step is for the City of Coral Gables to host additional meetings focusing on the project’s overall cost and design.

Downtown Coral Gables and Miracle Mile is a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood infused with a chic European feel. Decorated with tree-lined streets and Mediterranean architecture, the historic area boasts some of Miami’s finest boutiques, acclaimed restaurants and lively cultural venues.

For more information and a directory, visit online at www.shopcoralgables.com, became a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ShopCoralGables or follow on Twitter @ShopCoralGables.


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