Creative Approaches to Workforce Housing
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Press Release Summary and PowerPoint Presentation Available

The Creative Approaches to Workforce Housing workshop was completed at 5:30 PM on Friday, May 21, 2004.  The PowerPoint presentation by Michael Singer is now available. 

Click Here for PowerPoint Text in Word

Click on Picture Below for PowerPoint Presentation with Pictures

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Recommendations for 7th and Sistrunk

Broward Design Collaborative
Provides New Ideas for Workforce Housing in
The Sistrunk Neighborhood of Fort Lauderdale

The Broward Design Collaborative organized a national team of prominent designers to develop creative approaches for workforce housing in the Sistrunk neighborhood of Fort Lauderdale.  On May 21, 2004, after three days of discussions with the city, CRA, community members and development experts, the team presented their recommendations at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church and made the following overall statement. 

The city has two choices: 1.) act soon to shape a future multi-cultural, economically diverse Sistrunk and mid-town neighborhood or 2.) stand by and watch the African-American district become gentrified for higher income people.  The successful construction of workforce housing with strong cultural and environmental attributes could lead to a future where people of many economic levels can continue to find homes and communities in downtown Fort Lauderdale.  Many opportunities for workforce housing can occur with civic leadership and the creative partnerships of private developers, non-profits, the city, the county and institutions such as FAU. 

The three-day workshop examined the 5-acre, city owned property at the corner of 7th Avenue NW and Sistrunk Blvd NW.  The team was lead by Michael Singer, the Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Dorothy F. Schmidt Eminent Scholar for the College of Arts and Letters. The others members were architect Bill Reed of Natural Logic, bio-engineer Michael Shaw of Ocean Arks International, structural engineer Calen Colby of Oest Engineering and Margi Glavovic Nothard, FAU Dept. of Urban and Regional Planning, Assistant Professor in Urban Design. 

Recommended Ideas for Workforce Housing

The team recommended that the following ideas be examined for a new development with workforce housing.  All these ideas have been successfully implemented in other developments throughout the world.

  • The development should allow phasing of design and construction
  • The housing should be economically diverse and provide up to 60% of the units that are affordable to working families with lower-to-middle incomes
  • Land trusts could be utilized to keep some units affordable in the future
  • A co-housing development could be created for up to 10% of the units
  • Commercial development should be included and be flexible to respond to the market and provide some start-up space for community businesses. 
  • A cooperative or community grocery store should be considered as an alternative to Publix, Winn Dixie or Albertsons.
  • History and culture, especially African-American, should be expressed and sustained through the site development
  • Incentives should be implemented to reward transportation alternatives to the car.  Existing ideas for City operated shuttle services should include this area and connect west to the African American Library and Cultural Center
  • Build multi-use, attractive parking structures at the minimum size necessary and located within the blocks, not along the main streets
  • Water quality should be maintained through bioengineering methods.
  • Water conservation should reduce water use by 60% and discharge less than 5% by processing the water on site.
  • Multiple old and new technologies should be used to reduce energy consumption.
  • Construction materials and labor should come from near the site
  • Ongoing operating costs should be lower that 35% of comparable developments

 

Recommended Site Plan Ideas

The team drew one possible site plan for development of the site.  The team wished to connect this property and its development to the adjacent property and city through the following:

  • Abandon the streets behind the property and make one combined park / retention water purification pond in conjunction with Regal Trace Housing Development & post office water retention areas.
  • “Green” the face of the FPL substation toward the site
  • Connect with the post office through a parking deck over the post office parking lot and an on-site cohousing town house development
  • A 10 story plus mixed use tower on Sistrunk to declare its prominence as a destination.
  • Maintain a mixed use, street life on all buildings facing the main streets
  • Create public viewing corridors and plazas to enable public access to the new environmental park center.

 

Recommended Urban Issues

The team noted the important location of the site as a significant future hub between Downtown, Sistrunk and Arts and Science District. The Broward Design Collaborative identified the following issues regarding the 7th Ave and Sistrunk Precinct:

  • The blocks around the 7th Ave NW and Sistrunk intersection need an independent urban precinct plan with property owners and City/CRA planners. 
  • The lack of a definite schedule for the proposed 7th & 9th Avenue connector will hold up redeveloped of the 7th Ave & Sistrunk Precinct
  • An urban design analysis and plan for the industrial area should be developed in conjunction with the concept engineering for the 7th & 9th Avenue connector
  • The 7th and Sistrunk Precinct could be an excellent location for workforce housing to be developed in conjunction with the new County Downtown Campus Project
  • Existing disincentives in the city and county for the use of innovative ideas and resource conservation in new developments should be reversed into incentives.
  • Connections to existing natural and cultural amenities should be reinforced through such public infrastructure as a southbound Avenue of the Arts (7th Ave) green-space corridor that includes a bike path to the New River, Riverwalk and Arts & Science District, an east-west pedestrian connection via Sistrunk and various directions to pocket parks within the neighborhood and on Sunrise.  

 

FAU Student Development

With the conclusion of the workshop, the architecture and planning students at Florida Atlantic University, will convert the concepts and principles into site plans, building designs and planning and zoning recommendations.  These drawings will be presented in the fall.

 

Workshop Participants and Advisors

The following people joined the workshop at various times to advise the team on issues relevant to the redevelopment of the site. 

  • Carlton Moore, City Commissioner
  • Phillip Bacon and Eric Shaw, Collins Center in Miami
  •  Bruce Chatterton, Liz Holt and Tony Longo, City of Fort Lauderdale Planning
  • Karl Shallenberger, City of Fort Lauderdale Engineering
  •  Bob Wojcik, Fort Lauderdale Community Redevelopment Agency
  •  Milton Jones and Sean Jones, Developers
  •  Dr. Jerry Kolo, FAU
  • Mariadele Gridley, Central Area Plan Committee 
  •  Sharon Bryant, Mt. Olive Development Corporation
  • Jackie Tufts, Mt. Bethel New Visions CDC
  • Annetta Jenkins, LISC in West Palm Beach
  •   Lisa Maxwell, Lennar
  •   Katherine Barry, BAND
  • Jaap Vos, FAU
  • Peter Magyar, FAU
  • Glenn Weiss, BDC Director
  • Gloria Katz, Former City Commissioner

A Temporary Website

A temporary website holds this information, pictures and more regarding the Workshop and Broward Design Collaborative.  www.glennweiss.com/bdc 

Sponsors

This workshop for the Sistrunk neighborhood was supported by the Fort Lauderdale CRA, the City of Fort Lauderdale, the Collins Center, the Broward Chapter of American Planning Association, ULI Southeast Florida / Caribbean, Dickey Consulting, BAND, the FAU Foundation, the FAU School of Architecture, FAU Department of Urban and Regional Planning and FAU Dorothy F. Schmidt Eminent Scholar Program for the College of Arts and Letters 

Broward Design Collaborative
Florida Atlantic University
111 East Las Olas Blvd, HEC 1008A 
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301
954-762-5030       
info@browarddesigncollaborative.com

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