Sponsor News Briefs

Construction crews won't officially break ground on the $200 million Sears Crosstown redevelopment, involving designers Looney Ricks Kiss, until financing closes this month. But work is already underway.

Beaufort County followed the Town of Port Royal to become the second of three local jurisdictions to adopt a shared, Form-Based Coding platform. Opticos was commissioned in 2010 to create a multijurisdictional Form-Based Code that Beaufort County, the City of Beaufort, and the Town of Port Royal could share in order to better coordinate growth between the three jurisdictions, help channel future growth toward existing urban areas, and protect the county’s rural character. Opticos worked closely with all three communities to create a shared framework of Transect zones and related standards that could be adapted to the needs of each community.

Nashville has become one of the United States’ most dynamic economies, driving growth back into its core neighborhoods. In 2010, the city also showcased its resilience by bouncing back from a severe flood that impacted many parts of the downtown. The city’s growth and post-flood rebuilding gave the City an opportunity to craft a downtown plan with a multi-disciplinary team led by Urban Design Associates.

The Seaside Prize is awarded annually by The Seaside Institute to individuals or organizations that have made significant contributions to the quality and character of our communities and are considered the leaders of contemporary urban development and education. The 2015 Prize ceremony will be held on February 21 in Seaside, Florida. A symposium will be held that weekend in conjunction with the Prize. 

In 2010, Decatur, Georgia completed a 10-year update to its Strategic Plan
which defined a community-based vision for its future and provided steps for the
City to take to achieve it. During the planning process, discussion often focused on
growth and development in context of a desire for the community to be environmentally, socially, and economically sustainability. As the City and its consultants looked at how to promote these ideas, it became clear that the regulations that guided growth in the City were often at odds with the Plan. To align their regulations with the Strategic Plan in a progressive, user-friendly format, the City retained a team led by TSW to prepare a Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) combining zoning, subdivision, environmental, and other regulations into a legally sound and enforceable document.

The development company, Strategic Property Partners, LLC (SPP) unveiled their Vision Plan for Tampa's New Waterfront District to an audience of over 400 guests and members of the press at the Waterside Marriott. Prepared for SPP by a design team led by Urban Design Associates (UDA), the new district will include: a new USF health campus, new residential, offices, retail, restaurants, hotels, and an expanded waterfront park. Jeff Vinik, owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning hosted the event that included presentations by the mayor and members of the development team.

As a Certified B Corporation, Opticos is committed to a triple bottom line that includes sustainable business, accountability, transparency, and meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance. As part of our B Corp goals, Opticos sets aside a portion of money on an annual basis to give to a charity or group of charities that are important to us.

With an eye on flexibility and livability, Memphis real estate professionals continue to turn toward mixed-use developments. Successful local projects are proving the city's mindset on mixed use is shifting, and more could be on the way.

 When Liberty Center opens in Cincinnati next fall, it will leverage its full-scale mixed-use offerings—such as a CineBistro theater, lofty lineup of retail, restaurants, residential and office space, as well as lush landscaping and natural gathering places—to bring a sense of place and community to the area. The project is being developed by Steiner + Associates and Bucksbaum Retail Properties.

Retail planner and consultant Bob Gibbs will be joined by Terry Shook, an expert in retail design and main street development, and Seaside town center developer, Daryl Davis, to present this one-of-a-kind retail workshop.

This 3-day training illustrates the capability of the NCI Charrette System™ for all aspects of community planning. Participants learn the practical NCI Charrette System™ skills, tools and techniques through new interactive, hands-on exercises practiced on four case study types: Sustainable community planning, Regional/comprehensive planning, Transportation/infrastructure planning and Transit oriented development planning.

Easton is proud to announce the arrival of the entirely new shopping district known as Easton Gateway! With 500,000 square feet of specialty retail, restaurants and service tenants, Easton Gateway strives to deliver an enhanced shopping experience. Costco, Dick's, Sak's Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Pies & Pints, and REI are already open for business with Melt Bar & Grilled and more soon at Easton Gateway.

Urban Design Associates (UDA) appoints Joseph R. Nickol, AICP, as Associate Principal and Megan O’Hara, AICP, LEED AP bd+c as Associate.

As recently as 1988, Harbor Town was a scrubby sandbar in the Mississippi River. Today, it’s a thriving community of over 3,000 people, a haven for cyclists and pedestrians, and a test tube for city planners. What can Memphis learn from this neo-traditional neighborhood in the shadow of downtown?

Developer Henry Turley enlisted the architectural services of Baltimore’s RKTL and Memphis’s Looney Ricks Kiss. Together, they developed a land plan for the neighborhood, as well as a picture book that laid out simple “do this, don’t do this” instructions for home builders.

Earlier this year, Opticos Design was awarded the CNU’s Charter Award Grand Prize for Best Planning Tool for the Cincinnati Form-Based Code. "As we discussed what to do with the prize money, we decided the best thing to do would be to give the money back to an organization making a difference in the City of Cincinnati," the firm explained on its blog.

Urban Design Associates has led the re-shaping of the charrette model to not only project the reactivation of neighborhoods, streets, and public spaces, but to be part of the reactivation.

Co-sponsored by the Remaking Cities Institute of the School of Architecture of Carnegie Mellon Univ. and the Heinz Architectual Ctr. of the Carnegie Museum of Art. The lecture series is underwritten by UDA in honor of Mr. Lewis, founder of the firm and Emeritus Distinguished Univ. Professor at Carnegie Mellon. For more, click here:

Please join CNU Illinois for our seventh annual state conference, “Ready, Set, Plan!” The program will investigate the urban planning process with a series of case studies drawn from the southern and eastern communities of Chicago’s metropolitan area.

The great outdoors just got a little more crowded. The new Field & Stream store officially opens today at Easton Gateway, joining an explosion of outdoors retail that has taken place in central Ohio during the past few years. 

The Mid-South Regional Greenprint and Sustainability Plan recommends around 500 miles of greenways, trails and bike lanes that connect to neighborhoods, parks and employment centers in four counties in the region. Advocates say the system would also promote economic development.