The City this week showed local residents its preliminary designs for a public plaza around the Normandy fountain in North Beach. While proposed as a way to activate the area with outdoor café seating and enhance the Friday Nights at the Fountain programming, there continues to be concern about the loss of nine parking spaces in an area where parking is at a premium.
Last month, Miami Beach Commissioners gave their approval for a three-month “soft closure” of Rue Vendome between 71st Street and Normandy Drive to gauge the response and traffic impact. Staff was asked to proceed with a design for the area to be ready to implement if the soft closing goes well.
The idea for the plaza was recommended in the North Beach Master Plan. Economic Development Director Jeff Oris told City Commissioners in March, “Restaurants are looking forward to it. Most thought it was an interesting, visionary idea.”
Oris says about twenty residents attended this week’s meeting to discuss the concept and preliminary designs. He plans to go door to door starting next week to talk with local businesses to ensure they are aware of the upcoming temporary closing. Oris says the soonest a closing will happen is beginning of May.
The proposed design for the plaza includes decorative lighting, street furniture which could include benches or tables and chairs, a closure element which might be large planters or bollards, and a floor mural.
If you’d like more information or to comment on the plan, contact Jeff Oris via email.
Normandy Isle plaza concept unveiled:
city reaching out to community for input