City of Naples, Investors Research and Development Corporation
About Fifth Avenue South
A popular resort with an affluent population, Naples had never developed a proper town center. In 1993, largely due to the efforts of the 5th Avenue South merchants, DPZ was retained to help address this issue. The result was a Downtown Plan and Code that targeted the revitalization of a dormant six-block of its principal shopping area into a Main Street and 24/7 destination.
The plan and code encouraged new development that would be compatible with the neighboring fabric, but allowed to densify by reinforcing the street and fostering pedestrian activity. A key contribution of the design charrette was a comprehensive strategy to make downtown as, if not more, convenient, pleasant, and competitive a shopping and dining environment as the strip centers and malls along nearby US 41.
The new overlay documents introduced a few key rules and facilitated their enforcement by the City. As a result, the sleepy, one-story thoroughfare became a mixed-use, multi-story, regional retail and entertainment hub. 5th Avenue’s outdated shopfronts that closed at 5pm turned into chic boutiques and late-night cafes. Downtown Naples’s physical transformation and financial success has been the subject of numerous media profiles.
- Retail-driven renaissance: the merchants led the initiative with willingness to obey rules.
- Vision reinforced: local architectural board empowered to keep the new code observed.
- Civic investment: subsequent nearby Cambier Park improvements + arrival of a community theater and plaza on the avenue.
Defining Design Details
- Landscape standards: varying streetscapes depending on the residential to commercial context.
- Parking efficiencies: on-street striping redrawn to increase capacity + sites for parking structures identified.
- Shopping made easy: parking to shopping experience made more pleasant with via courts & passages.
- Avenue as urban room: new benches + outdoor dining encouraged for the first time.
- Coordinated shopfronts: better display window pointers and sidewalk amenity ideas.
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