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Public Exhibition of FAU and 20th Street Corridor

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From the FAU College for Design and Social Inquiry:

Over the last year, the School of Architecture has produced design visioning for both Campus and the NW 20th Street Corridor. In addition, the School of Urban and Regional Planning has examined the issues, challenges and opportunities involved with improving the Town/Gown relationship.

Student proposals will be displayed at the Ritter Gallery on the FAU Boca Raton Campus from June 2nd to July 20th.  With a special reception event hosted by the College for Design and Social Inquiry on June 10th.  Please join us to both celebrate the student's work and to review and comment on the proposals for creation of an integrated cooperative future vision for Boca Raton and FAU.  During this public exhibit special efforts will be made to invite participation by individuals and groups from the array of stakeholders involved from the University and the City.

For June 10th, RSVP to Marian Williams, [email protected]




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Awesome, thanks for posting! Will look into it and give you guys a report.

P.S. I don't respond to guest posts. All guests are encouraged to register with the site.
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owl2Doc said

Awesome, thanks for posting! Will look into it and give you guys a report.
Posted On: Jun 2nd 2015, 7:56 PM #345880

 :cool:
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owl2Doc said

Awesome, thanks for posting! Will look into it and give you guys a report.
Posted On: Jun 2nd 2015, 7:56 PM #345880

I will be attending the reception.  Representatives from FAU hand-delivered an invite and said they want my opinion regarding the corridor.  Honored to offer my feedback.

My first thought was: FAU doesn't control the corridor, the City does, so these student proposals could be the greatest things since sliced bread, however if the City is not on board, it doesn't really matter.  

As a business owner in the corridor, I am not allowed to even put an illuminated "Open" sign in my front window because of Boca regulations so if I see awesome designs of flags and signage and other beautiful things along 20th Street should I believe it is possible?

I want it to be possible.

The problem is FAU will be thinking about what is best for them and the City will be thinking about what is best for them and the reality is that they need to think about what can help businesses survive in the corridor. That is what will develop the corridor.  If businesses are thriving in the corridor, more businesses will want to be there. If FAU-related businesses can't survive, there will be no corridor.

It's not rocket science, although we will all turn it into rocket science.

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fauowl said

The problem is FAU will be thinking about what is best for them and the City will be thinking about what is best for them and the reality is that they need to think about what can help businesses survive in the corridor. That is what will develop the corridor.  If businesses are thriving in the corridor, more businesses will want to be there. If FAU-related businesses can't survive, there will be no corridor.

It's not rocket science, although we will all turn it into rocket science.
Posted On: Jun 2nd 2015, 10:21 PM #345896
Exactly.

As of April 13th, FAU is paying former Boca Deputy Mayor Constance Scott a salary of $75,000/year for a new position called Director of Local Relations. She was formerly on the City Council. So if we're paying her 75k a year, her job should 100% right now be to make sure that we can get what we want from the City, and to put it in a way that the City understands. Who would know how to massage a proposal better than a person who was just there?

P.S. I don't respond to guest posts. All guests are encouraged to register with the site.
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Another thing the City can do for the Corridor is: stop blocking the 20th Street entrance to FAU on Football game day!  They redirect traffic at 4th Ave and you have to go to Glades or Spanish River.  That does not help anything at all.

They used to block it after the game as well and forced all the traffic to Glades until the Mayor got caught in a big traffic jam after the US Soccer event because of the same issue. haha.  Businesses complain and nothing happens…the Mayor gets inconvenienced and just like that…something happens.  The Mayor has been supportive so I won't bash, but it is funny.

They have to let traffic flow on 20th on game day if they really want it to be a corridor.  I think they made some concessions (during stadium construction process) to some concerned local homeowners who thought game day traffic may disrupt their neighborhoods.

Let's be serious…the traffic is worse on a regular school day so there is no need to continue with the detour.

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Event is 6-8pm tonight.

P.S. I don't respond to guest posts. All guests are encouraged to register with the site.
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owl2Doc said

Event is 6-8pm tonight.
Posted On: Jun 10th 2015, 8:31 AM #346051

+1
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Will write more about this in the near future but this was a great event.

All the most important players are on board. Both the City and the university want this to happen. The first step is that the City has zoning, infrastructure and streetscape changes to make. Apparently they needed a plan like this one to start hunting for the money that would bury power lines, expand sidewalks, update street lighting, plant shade trees, things like that.

The rate-limiting step is actually not money or developer interest - of which there is plenty - but trying to convince the people who own key properties along 20th Street to sell. That was the most surprising thing to me as I thought what was primarily holding us back was developer interest.

Some of these people have been there for decades and are understandably hesitant about uprooting their business. It's going to take equal parts finesse and luck to build everything we want to build, hence some people saying this may not be fully realized for 20 years.

But we've made an important first step and I think we'll start seeing this slowly build over the years as the dominoes start to fall.

P.S. I don't respond to guest posts. All guests are encouraged to register with the site.
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owl2Doc said

Will write more about this in the near future but this was a great event.
Posted On: Jun 11th 2015, 2:56 PM #346076

It was a great event.

Good first steps to get the conversations started.

New ideas breed new ideas.  Sounds like the next step would be to rename 20th Street. That would begin the process of change.

My offering of a new name is: Florida Atlantic Way.

Here are a few of my reasons:

  1. Just a simple name change can make people have an awareness that something is changing, which can impact more ideas.
  2. There is an effort within FAU to emphasize the words "Florida Atlantic" more and utilize the 3 letter acronym less.  This would kick start that transition.
  3. College-Town centric businesses would love a business address that had their target market included.
  4. Current Non College-Town centric businesses (E.g. Fabric Shops) may realize this is not their target area and relocate to other areas and free up those properties for new mixed-use housing/retail projects.

I was able to voice my concern (with the Mayor, and President Kelly) about the practice of blocking off 20th Street at 4th Avenue before Football games and both agreed that it needs to be addressed. Kelly agreed it needs to stop. We shall see if it will.
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