West Palm Beach Downtown Master Plan
Despite its quirky main street and a successful mixed-use shopping center, West Palm Beach’s traditional downtown had failed to thrive. Competing retail, a weak office district, poor connections to surrounding neighborhoods, a surplus of vacant land, and a code that did not work well resulted in a fragmented and under-performing downtown. Zyscovich worked with Lambert Advisory, and a City appointed Advisory Board to investigate the major planning potentials and create a new vision for the downtown’s redevelopment. The most significant outcomes included:
- Linking the two main retail centers with a new business district and creating development incentives to attract Class A office uses
- Adopting a new zoning code and land use plan based on 13 new neighborhood sub-districts with distinctive characteristics
- Designing zoning parameters for a range of lot sizes and street types
- Developing the zoning mechanism to return a defunct main street into a neighborhood shopping corridor
- Enabling adaptive reuse of an industrial district for arts, retail, and residential uses
The Master Plan includes recommendations and new zoning provisions for the Northwest neighborhood, a historic African American neighborhood with many examples of Florida vernacular architecture. The recommendations and new regulations were focused on the preservation of the neighborhood for single-family uses in the interior and to encourage commercial and multi-family on the perimeter streets. This was accomplished through the preservation of height limits, specific location-based use criteria, recommendations for street extensions to improve connectivity, the development of parks and cultural uses, and the protection of area churches through special parking provisions.