The Wynwood Business Improvement District (BID) Board of Directors unanimously endorsed and recommended the approval of a new, first-of-its-kind Streetscape Master Plan during its September meeting that fosters right-of-way enhancements beyond standard requirements to roadway and sidewalk conditions with an unprecedented focus on sustainability, resiliency, mobility, safety and social connectivity throughout the 50 city-block arts district.
This multi-phased plan will yield new pedestrian-friendly streets and sidewalks, including crosswalks, tree canopy/shade, way-finding, and living streets (known as “Woonerfs”) that will be the first of its kind in Florida.
Additionally, several proposed amendments to the Wynwood Neighborhood Revitalization District (NRD-1) Plan (first adopted in 2015) are set forth and designed to incentivize property owners to build affordable/workforce housing in the area, provide additional civic open space and preserve legacy buildings and uses.
The City of Miami’s Planning, Zoning and Appeals Board (PZAB) overwhelmingly endorsed the Wynwood BID’s proposed Streetscape Master Plan during its meeting on Sept. 16 and recommended that City of Miami Commissioners approve and adopt the plan as well as the proposed amendments to the NRD-1 plan. If approved, implementation would commence immediately with many of the improvements funded and constructed by commercial property owners in coordination with the Department of Resilience and Public Works.
“Wynwood has become a world-class destination due in large part to our neighborhood revitalization district plan that has taken us from blighted industrial area to a flourishing mixed-use commercial and residential district,” said Albert Garcia, chair and co-founder of the Wynwood BID. “Adaptation is key to Wynwood’s success and the implementation of this new streetscape master plan will further enhance the pedestrian experience and quality of life of our residents, area employees and millions of annual visitors.”
The new streetscape plan is anchored by the Wynwood Walks initiative consisting of three Woonerfs, several linear parkways, street-end parks (play streets), bicycle corridors, edge parks and wellness loops that inter-connect and cross-connect with neighboring Midtown, Wynwood Norte, Overtown and Edgewater. Safety and mobility will be improved with the introduction of new cross-walks, mid-block crossings, widened sidewalks, protected bicycle lanes, cycle tracks and district way-finding elements that will guide pedestrians and motorists throughout the area.
Enhanced landscaping along public sidewalks and roadways will combat climate change, provide shade via new tree canopies, reduce heat island effect, capture stormwater runoff, and reintroduce native plant species that will not obstruct visibility and enjoyment of the neighborhood’s world-renowned street art.
The implementation of the plan will promote greater walkability of the neighborhood and feature three new living streets (Woonerfs) that convert existing streets to public green spaces along NW Third Avenue and NW First Avenue between 25th Street and 29th Street; and NW First Place between 20th Street and 23rd Street.
In addition to the streetscape plan, proposed changes to the NRD-1 plan include establishing a program to allow lot assemblage exceeding maximum lot area with public benefit contributions to facilitate development that is in the character and vision of the district; amending the Wynwood Transfer of Development Rights and Density Program to further encourage development needs for Affordable/Workforce Housing, Civic Open Space, and Legacy Uses throughout the Wynwood NRD-1 area.
The streetscape master plan was created by Miami-based landscape architecture firm ArquitectonicaGEO in close partnership with the Wynwood BID and City of Miami Planning Department. The design process included dozens of public hearings, design charrettes and community workshops attended by area residents, commercial property and business owners and other stakeholders to ensure the new proposed guidelines and right-of-way improvements reaffirm and protect Wynwood’s artistic and industrial character.
Wynwood’s revitalization efforts have resulted in over 7,500 new jobs, more than 5 million annual visitors and over $1.5 billion in local investment and spending to support the South Florida economy.
In the past five years, newly built mixed-use projects such as 250 Wynwood, Wynwood 25, Wynwood Annex, Cube Wynwd, The Bradley and Wynwood Garage have welcomed hundreds of new residents and businesses to the area. Wynwood’s NRD-1 plan has received national accolades from the American Planners Association, because of its forward-thinking nature; involvement of property owners who took the initiative to plan for the future of the neighborhood responsibly; and many smart development components.
In addition to its steadfast commitment to master planning for the neighborhood, the Wynwood BID recently announced that more than 45 community organizations have come together to establish the “Northeast Corridor Coalition” to advocate for commuter rail initiative along the FEC Railway/Brightline corridor. Led by the Wynwood BID, this broad-based coalition includes some of Miami-Dade’s most prominent business, education and cultural organizations including the University of Miami, Florida International University (FIU), Miami-Dade College, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami-Dade Beacon Council, Friends of the Underline and more. The Wynwood BID has also announced a commitment alongside private property owners to fund the construction of a Wynwood-Midtown commuter rail station that will serve neighboring areas.
For additional information on the commuter rail initiative, visit www.WynwoodMiami.com/SupportRail.