Washington Avenue Studies & Master Plan
Zyscovich was commissioned to do a visioning and conceptual master planning study to examine the current development guidelines, as well as pedestrian walkability and complete streets initiatives, for the Washington Avenue corridor between Fifth Street and Lincoln Road. Zyscovich studied potential changes to the existing zoning regulations to encourage and support appropriate, context-sensitive redevelopment intended to enhance the vitality of the corridor. The study analyzed the impact of the additional floor area ratio (FAR) and height. An increase in the FAR of any property requires a voter referendum, making it necessary for the community to visualize the impacts of such changes. At present, portions of Washington Avenue contain bars and night clubs, which are only activated at night, leaving historic storefronts empty during the day. Other portions of Washington Avenue include T-shirt shops, souvenir shops, tattoo parlors, and other retail shops that do not enhance the corridor or serve the local community. The City of Miami Beach hopes to provide better maintenance of historic structures along the corridor. The ability to develop additional floor area above the ground floor retail in exchange for improving ground floor uses and restoring historic facades was explored. For the evaluation of code and massing study, the scope of work included massing studies and perspective studies at various key locations, particularly where significant historic structures are located and where the tallest building heights are proposed. The study depicted the current development potential of the Washington Avenue corridor and the proposed development potential.
Various scenarios were represented, with increased FAR and height, and with reduced parking along the corridor. The fact that the majority of buildings along Washington Avenue are contributing structures in a historic district was taken into account. The study identified the relationships between the current and proposed building sections to ensure compatibility with the surrounding neighborhood. The study also visualized ideal maximum heights, the number of stories, parking requirements, and FAR for three geographically different and varied block sections of the study area.