CM Doral Development Company, Codina Partners
About Downtown Doral
Downtown Doral is one of DPZ’s most intensely mixed-use and walkable “sprawl repair” communities. In replacing two dozen low-rise office buildings of a 120-acre suburban office park, local developers, Codina Partners, envisioned a family-friendly town center for a diverse community in a rapidly evolving area.
Three types of housing (townhouses, low-rise, and high-rise apartments) ensured a generational mix and enabled aging-in-place. The residential offerings were complemented by Main Street shops, a large grocery store (with covered parking above), and new mid-rise office buildings. The Doral City Hall, a county branch library, two Charter schools (including an elementary school and middle school/high school, totaling 3,000 students), Urgent Care Center, and the parks (ranging 15,000 square feet to 3 acres) realized the goal of the city’s leadership to establish a civic identity for the recently incorporated municipality as it emerged from its prior dominance by airport-serving industrial uses. The schools have helped lure top employers and skilled workers.
An extension redeveloping the adjacent golf course with additional apartments and single-family houses was expected to bring the total number of Downtown Doral residents to nearly 20,000 on the combined 250 acres.
- Partnerships: public-private collaborations kept project moving through recession.
- Incremental vision: first structure, a 6-story mixed-use office building framing the street with a small plaza, told the walkable urban story to come.
- Retail innovations: urban format supermarket embedded in neighborhood, not on major artery.
- Economizing infrastructure: master plan preserved the office park’s public rights-of-way and underground utilities.
- Successional urbanism: tall single-story retail detached from residential towers and midblock parking to facilitate future expansions.
- Novel approach to parking: The public high school is distinguished by the unheard-of-in-South-Florida phenomenon of providing no student parking!
Defining Design Details
- Walkable Scale: The large office blocks were made more permeable with a network of wide sidewalks, bicycle lanes, pedestrian passages, a broad linear park crossing the site, and a central park.
- Civic synergies: City Hall & Community Cultural Arts Center preside over the 3-acre Central Park.
- Lean Planning & Coding: simple documents clarify key moves—tower, parking & mandatory liner locations.
- Public Art: a special collection of sculptures, murals and child-pleasing interactive installations has been carefully curated by the developer.
Walkable downtown created from a suburban office complex
From: Public Square CNUBy: ROBERT STEUTEVILLE
Doral had no downtown for nearly 15 years. Now it has two.
From: Miami HeraldBy: Andres Viglucci
From Suburban Office Park to a New Downtown in Florida
From: UrbanlandBy: Will Macht