The goal of the Downtown Kendall Master Plan is to create a recognizable city center amidst a suburban, automobile-dominated community. The highly developed area, located south of Miami, is an emerging “edge city” urban center with a piecemeal, suburban character. It lies at the convergence of several regional transit corridors (including two Metrorail stations) and the intersections of four heavily traveled arterial roadways that crisscross an intense mixture of retail, offices, hotels, and residential neighborhoods. The study area also includes the well known Dadeland Mall. While the area has experienced remarkably fast growth, the development is extremely fragmented; poor pedestrian accessibility and visual blight dominate this auto-oriented situation.
Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company and Dover, Kohl and Partners conducted a weeklong charrette to produce the plan and a graphic code, under the direction of a steering committee created by Chamber South, Miami-Dade County government, and citizen organizations.
The master plan identified the structure of the site and recommended that a phased development process be implemented through new written codes. The new codes will eliminate the floor-to-area ratio (FAR) as the guiding force for urban design, because of the ratio’s inability to control the built environment. The phased approach allows the community to prioritize investments in order to maximize the build-out potentials as the overall tax base increases.
The Master Plan and Illustrative Booklet was unanimously approved by the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners following the charrette in 1998, and the code was unanimously adopted in December of 1999. This new ordinance replaces the existing zoning districts to form a new zoning district in the Miami-Dade development regulations. The Downtown Kendall project has been featured in Florida Trend, on NBC-6 and WPBT reports, and in a special issue of BusinessWeek, entitled, “21 Ideas for the 21st Century.”