Group Led By Armando Codina Lobbying For Public Plaza Next To Signature Bridge

With FDOT moving forward on plans to build a Signature Bridge, one group is hoping for a plaza to be built on adjacent land.

Town Square Neighborhood Development Corporation Unveils Aspirational Design Plan for Town Square Plaza

Re-imagining Downtown’s Gateway as Part of the I-395 Signature Bridge Project

MIAMI (January, 29, 2016) – Today, the Town Square Neighborhood Development Corporation (“TSNDC”) – the nonprofit organization created to foster development of Miami’s Town Square neighborhood – unveiled an aspirational vision for Town Square Plaza, a multi-functional space that will promote community gathering in the thriving urban core. The design encompasses the area south of The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County and underneath the proposed I-395 “signature bridge”.

“In advance of the I-395 Reconstruction RFP advertisement, we wanted to share our vision of what the street-level experience could be,” said TSNDC Chair Armando Codina. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to design the signature structural bridge and the area under the highway in a way that historically changes the downtown Miami landscape for the better.”

TSNDC commissioned PlusUrbia Design to develop the plaza concept in partnership with the Arsht Center. The end result is a public plaza that offers a multi-use space that will provide art, green spaces, valet parking and interactive play areas.

According to Alan Fein, chair of the Performing Arts Center Trust board of directors, now is the time to advocate for the importance of open and flexible space.

“Town Square Plaza presents a new opportunity to not only recreate the vista at the Arsht Center’s front door, but to improve the connectivity between our community and the arts and cultural institutions in the vicinity of the signature bridge,” said Fein.
Michael Spring, senior advisor, Miami-Dade County Office of the Mayor and director, Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs echoed Fein’s comments, “FDOT already has demonstrated a strong commitment to achieving a sophisticated solution for I-395. Now, the vision that TSNDC has shared with us has the potential to extend these high standards for quality urban design to create a civic commons that will benefit the people and image of our community.”

“The plaza creates a public lobby for the Arsht Center and a multifunctional space for Downtown. The design turns a challenging space into a vibrant gateway,” PlusUrbia director Juan Mullerat added.
“We are excited to be part of this legacy in creating new urban places that embrace the multicultural heritage of Miami and break down longstanding barriers that stood between communities that can now come together as one.”

“The vision was clear, create a picturesque space that not only complements the signature bridge above but also redefines the experience for residents and visitors”.

The TSNDC master plan was originally presented in 2012 by Cesar Pelli, senior principal at Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, the original architect for the Arsht Center.

Images of Town Square Plaza can be found at www.townsquaremiami.org.

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Anonymous

What a great idea. This is the most innovative and creative way to get rid of that empty, ugly parking lot across from the Arsht Center. Parking could be built under the plaza imitating functionality of open plazas in most urban centers. Nothing more ugly and eye disturbing than a parking lot!!!!

Anonymous

Not sure how great of an idea this is. Sure, I’d like to see a park or plaza there but what good is it if it remains empty 95% of the time? Surely there are better uses for the land.

Anonymous

Nothing more ugly and eye disturbing than a ‘fake bridge’

IloveMiami

It would not be more of a fake bridge than the one that is already there. It is an overpass, not a bridge. We already have the ugly overpass, why not make it look nice? Even if it costs millions, who cares? The money has already been set aside for the fake, but pretty bridge. The money will not be used for anything else. It will be squandered. It will disappear into thin air if it isn’t used for the fake but pretty overpass, oh sorry, I meant bridge.

peej

A great idea for the location, but it needs far more green space and far less pavers.
More shade trees wouldn’t hurt either…

Anonymous

You realize there’s a massive bridge standing over this, right? I think that will cast some shade. (Oh snap, double entendre…)

Anonymous

Great idea if executed properly. For a public space/park to be successful it needs people! If no one visits then the park will be an empty eyesore.

Anonymous

Do the homeless count as people?

IloveMiami

Why are so many of you so negative? It is an empty, tar-covered empty lot. What’s wrong with converting the same empty lot to one covered with trees, bushes, fountains, benches, art and nice lighting. Lets see…ugly empty lot, or pretty empty lot? Duh? Its a no-brainer. Please get out of cowtown and see what real world class cities look like. They are filled with plazas and landscaped open spaces. Many are often empty, and thats part of what makes them beautiful. Miami is not a city where people walk, sit on park benches and have a gelato. Many of you never leave the burbs after the sun goes down but you are always preaching about open spaces and better use of land. When was the last time you went walking through the yet-to-be-completed 2nd rate version of Museum Park? I personally would rather hang out at the proposed plaza before the theater than an empty lot. Besides, with all the new condos being developed in the area, what makes you think more people wont use the plaza, even if half the condos are owned by foreigners who don’t live here?

aceraroja

Uh no. The beautiful plazas of world-class cities are full of people. Nobody wants a hot, sunblasted, unused park in a place with plenty of that already. SMALL plazas edged with shops and houses are beautiful, not superblock plazas in front of ugly theaters under a stupid fake bridge.

Anonymous

I like this. Just please make it look like the rendering and don’t water it down. It actually looks really nice. Like the greenery too.

IloveMiami

Expect it to be watered down. All of these great ideas always are in our little cowtown. Been to Museum Park lately? Why wasn’t Bayfront Park ever completed to Noguchi’s specs?

Anon-e-mouse

Again as I’m mentioned before I do not think we need this bridge. If we need to do something for traffic we can have a cheaper option and not this Calatrava wanna be. Also as for the plaza , I think it is a waste of land. I believe every city should have good public spaces but this space is not it. A plaza a big space in which serves as a focal point or grand space in front of an important. Building. The opera does not really face south but it opens onto US-1 making it a grand boulevard. As such I think urbanisticly the site south souls follow the same logic with a tower that has a plaza on US-1. The grand public space is Museum Park. If anything I would imagine the area between the park and the opera as something which is being planned in Vancouver . http://www.dezeen.com/2015/11/20/video-interview-vancouver-house-big-kai-uwe-bergmann-transform-motorway-flyover-movie/ There the area under the overpass will become an outdoor gallery connecting the neighborhood.

Anonymous

I’m all for parks but this seems like a waste. We already have a concentration of parks in that area w/ Bayfront, Museum Park and Margaret Pace Park. Brickell is much more need of a park. How about Midtown or Design District?

Anonymous

+1 Brickell

Stacy

Nice one.

Anonymous

Call me crazy but – The first ” Bridge ” in the world without a body of water underneath it?And it only costs $800 million. Only in Miami.

John P

I don’t know why they don’t just rebuild the overpasses. I like the park idea but the bridge seems like a waste of money.

Anonymous

Trueeeeeeee!!!

Anonymous

This “park” will be a failure. The only active side is the Arsht Center. The bridge is on the south side, no idea what’s on the north side, or the east side but it won’t be the kind of uses needed to activate a park. Parks need active edges so that people actually use the park. This will become an attractive homeless magnet. The level of idiocy of FDOT and city officials is astounding.

Don Quijote

How do you integrate this plaza to the museums or park??? you can’t because you have 8 lines of biscayne boulevard that you would need to cross to get to a plaza that is under a noisy highway….totally useless idea that is trying to distract from the fact that we are being robbed in this $600 million bridge scam.

Anonymous

Obviously Don Quijote,u don’t travel enough,especially abroad. This public Plaza is a great idea,close to Performing Art Center, Museum Park,AAA.How to get there?You aren’t going to walk there crossing Biscayne Blvd. They going to build walkways under Biscayne bulevard and inside you can find coffee shops,drugstores, fast food restaurants…Imagine these underground shops and stores during basketball games,concerts, other social events. We need to bring people to downtown, to make Miami ,what we are all expecting to be a great WORLD CLASS CITY.Lets hope they gonna build it,better sooner than latter.

Anonymous

Walkways under biscayne? Que?

Marc305

This land is way too valuable, sooner or later someone will build a skyscraper on this late. It may take a few cycles but it will happen.

Anonymous

It will be owned by FDOT after they swap lots with the County.

suomynona

This proposal is unnecessary. There is a large public park space literally across the street at Museum/Bicentennial Park.

suomynona

Yes, let’s put a new, unnecessary park UNDERNEATH an OVERPASS. Terrific idea.

Anonymous

this looks like lipstick on a pig. No one would use this plaza, there is no other buildings around to support such a civic square. The Performing Arts Center already has a underused plaza. I think the lot would be better as a mixed use building to energize the area, or a office tower, or even high school.

Anonymous

I high school lol omg how stupid

IloveMiami

There are a couple of thousand condos less than a block south, just under the ugly overpass that could become a pretty, fake bridge/overpass. What about Auberge?

Anonymous

This will be a nice park for drug deals to go down…

Raid

A plaza under a bridge???? what??? what about the noise???

Anonymous

What noise? The bridge is under, not next to.

Alpina

have you ever pass or walk by under i-95, just where it crosses over 7th street…there is a parking lot next to publix…now, tell it is not noisy!!!!

Raid

the plaza can be maid on top of the i-395….much better idea