Sneak peek: Lincoln Road master plan revealed

Lincoln Road may get a facelift, adding blooming tropical flowers, outdoor space for art and performances and public seating along the pedestrian promenade, plus enhancements to adjoining streets, The Real Deal has learned.

The Lincoln Road master plan, to be presented to the Miami Beach City Commission on Wednesday, offers these recommendations and more, such as enlarging sidewalks, planting trees and creating opportunities for more outdoor cafes, Isabel Castilla, senior associate and project manager for James Corner Field Operations in New York, told TRD.

The firm, which is designing the High Line in New York and the Underline in Miami, was hired by Miami Beach to devise an improvement plan for Lincoln Road and its adjacent streets, to enliven and expand the popular, pedestrian-friendly shopping and dining district. 

“We are working on a new vision for Lincoln Road that not only enhances the aesthetic and social experience of the pedestrian mall but also leverages the amazing history and current-day ongoing success of the iconic Lincoln Road,” Castilla said. “We envision an integrated district, animated by arts and culture, and attractive to both visitors and locals alike.”

To create the proposed master plan, the firm examined Lincoln Road from Alton Road to Washington Avenue, as well as nearby Lincoln Lane and cross streets such as Meridian, Euclid and Jefferson avenues, with hopes of bringing the side streets into the fabric of Lincoln Road, Castilla said.

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Included in the plan are “infrastructural improvements to make the experience of shopping and dining better,” she said, such as bringing in new types of lighting, replacing old paving with new, tinted concrete in black and white, and incorporating seating along the existing planter walls.

The goal is also to reorganize the public space to create areas for public art or performances “so not only is it a shopping and dining destination, but it is a central, social spine for Miami Beach,” Castilla said.
If approved by the city commission this fall, the plan would take about a year of design and engineering work, and would then be implemented in phases, she said. A total cost for the improvements has not yet been estimated, but the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency has allocated $20 million to develop the pedestrian part of Lincoln Road, and $12 million more for the side streets connecting Lincoln Road and the convention center.
In July, Lincoln Road property owners voted in favor of creating a special tax district, the Lincoln Road Business Improvement District, to further develop the area. On Wednesday, the city commission will vote on adopting the final assessment roll for the BID, the last step in the BID creation process.
Steven Gombinski, president of the Lincoln Road Property Owners Association, said the master plan, which also includes increasing existing cafe seating, is a “great step forward for Miami Beach.”

“It’s going to be a huge, huge improvement,” Gombinski told TRD. “I’m very excited about it. It will open up and regenerate the street and allow for public access.”

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