City of WPB announces Clematis Streetscape project and opportunities for input

In keeping with Mayor Jeri Muoio’s vision of a city built and designed with quality of life at the forefront, the City of West Palm Beach seeks to embark on a series of design improvements to Clematis Street. As part of Phase I of the multi-phase Clematis Streetscape project, the City is outreaching to Clematis Street merchants and soliciting their input—as well as input from area merchants, residents, key stakeholders and the general public– about potential upgrades to the street that will enhance public life. Enhancements may include shade and tree canopy improvements, better lighting, café seating, paving, clearly marked pedestrian crossings and more. Knowing that great streets and outdoor spaces contribute to the lasting vibrancy of any community, Clematis Streetscape could also yield benefits in the areas of safety, walkability, economic development, public health, sustainability and more. One of the City’s primary goals of this project, also, is to shorten the construction schedule and minimize disruption to our valued merchants.

The first phase of the project is expected to break ground in May, with construction ending in October. Currently, the City of West Palm Beach is engaging community stakeholders, including Clematis Street merchants, the Downtown Development Authority, the Downtown Neighborhood Association, the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches and others, to capitalize on Clematis Street’s strengths and solicit feedback on the overall design. The public will also have several flexible opportunities to provide input and engage in thoughtful discussion with City leaders, project managers, and project designers.

With a rich history dating back to 1894, Clematis Street is one of the most iconic streets in the City of West Palm Beach. Serving as the sole business district when the City was first founded, the street currently serves as a place to both work and play, affectionately referred to as the “living room” of the buzzing downtown community. Along with the national expertise of the design and engineering team at Kimley-Horn, Dover, Kohl & Partners, a visionary urban planning company based in Coral Gables, has been retained to design a polished and professional next phase of Clematis Street’s evolution. Through a series of meetings with merchants, stakeholders, and the public, the firms will make recommendations for the future of Clematis Street. The public will have two opportunities to provide suggestions, including at the GreenMarket on January 20 and at a public meeting at City Hall on January 22.

 

“The improvements to Clematis Street are fitting, given the City’s current successful urban renaissance momentum,” said Mayor Jeri Muoio.  “West Palm Beach is an incredible City with much to offer, including great neighborhoods, a beautiful waterfront, and activities for all ages. We have a solid foundation, and with large and small projects, we can be even better. Our community can be better connected, healthier, easier to walk, and more enjoyable. The Clematis Streetscape project is one of the key projects that will help us achieve those long-term goals.”

 

With more than 30 years of experience, Dover, Kohl & Partners has an award-winning portfolio, and has designed projects for both national and international clients. The firm has worked on some of the country’s most iconic and beloved streets, including Park Avenue in Winter Park, Florida; Fairfax Boulevard in Fairfax, Virginia; and Folly Road in Charleston, South Carolina. Its work has been published in Progressive Architecture, Metropolitan Home, BusinessWeek and in numerous planning journals. In addition, Principal Victor Dover, along with architect and urbanist John Massengale, recently published the well-reviewed book, Street Design: The Secret to Great Cities and Towns.

 

“I am pleased with the team that has been created to design and execute the vision of the community,” continued Mayor Muoio. “With several opportunities to be heard, I encourage everyone to come out and share their feedback; engage with the team. Through collaboration, I know we will produce an incredible result for all to enjoy, and for years to come.”

 

Anyone interested in providing feedback on Clematis Street and ideas for improvements can attend the following meetings, or email [email protected].

 

  •        Clematis Streetscape: Planning at the Market | Saturday, January 20, 2018 – West Palm Beach GreenMarket – 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. – (101 N. Clematis Street | West Palm Beach, FL 33401) – Dover, Kohl & Partners will have a booth at the GreenMarket to engage with residents and visitors about Clematis Street. The interactive opportunity, which will include visuals for guests to react to, will give the design team a greater understanding of Clematis Street’s strengths and how it should be improved.

 

  •        Clematis Streetscape: Interactive Workshop | Monday, January 22, 2018 – Public Meeting at City Hall – 5:30 – 8 p.m. (401 Clematis Street | West Palm Beach, FL 33401) – Principal Victor Dover, of Dover, Kohl & Partners, will present initial options and renderings for the Clematis Streetscape project – short and long-term goals. The design firm will survey the audience through live polling, taking that feedback into consideration when editing design plans. City officials and project managers will also be onsite to receive feedback and provide overall project goals and timelines.

 

After much discussion and drafts, the City Commission is expected to make a final decision on the designs on Monday, February 26 during the Face of the City public meeting. Construction is slated to begin in May, lasting through the summer months, and in a phased approach, as to not affect the entire street at once. Other phases will be slated depending on the cohesive final design.

 

For more information on the Clematis Streetscape project, please visit wpb.org/clematisstreetscape, call 561-822-2222, or plan to attend the public meetings. To stay up-to-date on all City news, please follow the City on Twitter @westpalmbch or on Facebook @CityofWPB.