Public Realm Plan

Imagine a thriving central business district in Immokalee awash with brightly colored buildings, two beautiful public plazas at either end, happy people walking about, biking, shopping, visiting and playing.
 
That’s the vision for Immokalee’s core currently being developed by the Immokalee Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), its leaders, planners and engineers.
 
On June 11, 2010, the Immokalee CRA won the 2010 Award of Merit for a Public Study for the Public Realm and Town Design from the Florida Planning and Zoning Association at the 58th Annual Conference in Sarasota, FL.
 
The Public Realm Plan was approved March 9, 2010 by the Collier County Board of County Commissioners acting as the CRA Board. Prepared by Land Design Innovations of Orlando and the CRA’s consulting engineers, RWA of Naples, the plan seeks to “brand” the central business district – downtown – as a town of the future while also preserving Immokalee’s history and character with a Latin flair that will become the community’s unique trademark: Immokalee: Florida in the 21st Century.
 
“This vision is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication by the leaders – visionaries all – of your Immokalee Community Redevelopment Agency,” said Penny Phillippi, CRA executive director. “The tireless efforts of these community leaders and volunteers will prove a lasting legacy for years to come. They can be proud of the work they’ve accomplished.”
 
The idea behind the plan, Phillippi explained, is to put Immokalee on the map as a destination and an intriguing and exciting place to visit.
 

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“As the central business district develops and attracts new investments, the multicultural heritage of (downtown) will be preserved and enhanced,” suggests the plan’s outline. “The unified design scheme will ensure that future redevelopment…highlights the Latin flavor of Immokalee; promotes a safe, walkable downtown and provides civic spaces (to) promote social interaction.”
 
According to the plan, the Central Business District (CBD) will include the Main Street (State Road 29) corridor from 9th Street to the east and East 2nd Street to the west; the South 1st Street corridor from Pine Street on the north to the Seminole Casino on the South. It’s a district approximately 1.1 miles long.
 
 
Within the central business district will eventually appear new directional signs, streetscapes and building facades all featuring the unique Immokalee Latin “look.” Anchoring the space to the east and west will be new squares or plazas, public gathering spots with fountains and landscaping.
 
“Public gathering places, such as zocalos in Mexico are the heart of the Mexican-Tenochtitlan community and are often anchored by a church or market place,” explained the project designers, Land Design Innovations. “In Immokalee, the two proposed plazas are intended to inspire civic pride and revitalize the central business district by creating a more livable and walkable community.”
 
The Public Realm Plan can be viewed in more detail in the Immokalee CRA office, 310 Alachua Street, Immokalee,  or online at www.colliercra.com.
 
 

 

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