The Real Deal Miami

Revealed: Proposal for pedestrian-friendly Arsht Center plaza

Design features cascading waterfall and wide pedestrian spaces

January 29, 2016 06:02PM

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A rendering of the proposed Town Square Plaza in downtown Miami that would sit under the I-395 "signature bridge"

A rendering of the proposed Town Square Plaza in downtown Miami that would sit under the I-395 “signature bridge”

On the eve of transportation officials accepting bids for the I-395 redevelopment project, a nonprofit agency has unveiled its design of a walkable public space that would sit under the project’s “signature bridge” near the Arsht Center.

The proposal boasts a public plaza complete with wide open spaces, a cascading V-shaped waterfall, interactive play areas and valet parking service. It was created by PlusUrbia, who was commissioned by the nonprofit Town Square Neighborhood Redevelop Corp. in partnership with Miami’s Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

An aerial view of the parking lot where the plaza would be built

An aerial view of the parking lot where the plaza would be built

Currently, I-395 crosses over Biscayne Boulevard with a low-hanging span. The Florida Department of Transportation is soliciting builds to rebuild that span into a $600 million “signature bridge” high above Biscayne.

Part of the request for bids is to develop an aesthetically pleasing public space below the bridge, which is currently a surface parking lot owned by Miami-Dade County.

The partnership’s hope is that their vision will be brought to life through the winning bidder, said attorney Alan Fein, chair of the Arsht Center’s Board of Directors.

“In advance of the I-395 Reconstruction RFP advertisement, we wanted to share our vision of what the street-level experience could be,” said real estate heavyweight Armando Codina, who is Town Square’s chairperson, in a statement. “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.” — Sean Stewart-Muniz

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