Some of the leading urban design and walkability experts in the country will be returning to Pensacola, and they need your help.

During the week of April 8-11, representatives from Jeff Speck and Associates and DPZ Partners will be meeting with neighborhood associations, city and county officials and other community stakeholders to hear ideas for the development, walkability, and public space preservation along West Main Street, from Palafox to “A” Street.

The team has been contracted to create a master plan for the former ECUA wastewater treatment site and the vacant parcels at the Community Maritime Park. In addition, after meeting with Pensacola City Council last fall, the council requested that the master plan area be expanded to include the entire Main Street corridor from Palafox to “A” Street.

A cohesive master plan will aim to blend the public and private spaces within the Main Street corridor into a more pedestrian-friendly, urban environment where citizens will want to live, work, play, and learn.

More Community Input Needed

Since last fall, the design team has been researching specific information about the West Main Street area. This information-gathering process includes a review of existing conditions, geography, and environmental factors in the area. The team has also researched the current zoning, building codes, stormwater and utility easements.

Peter Bazeli of Weitzman Associates has completed a market study and marketability analysis to evaluate what type of activities, businesses, residential offerings and amenities would be most successful for this area. With the market research complete the next step is to gather further community input and feedback.

On April 9 at 6:00 p.m., Jeff Speck, Marina Khoury, Peter Bazeli and a team of designers and planners from DPZ Parters will share their initial findings from this research and evaluation phase, to educate citizens and to support the community discussion on the plan. The team will also seek feedback from participants on a range of ideas and possibilities for the area, as well as take questions, suggestions, and ideas from the audience. Attendees will be given several options and opportunities to share feedback and input with the design team.

Later in the week, on April 11 at 7:00 p.m., the design team will return to share the design concepts created from the community input during the previous four days. To RSVP to one or both of the evening events, click here!

During this presentation, attendees will hear what the design team learned from the public input sessions. The team will share how that feedback was used in the initial design and planning concepts that will be presented that night.

These initial concepts will be further studied, refined, and combined with additional community input to create the report’s final recommendations.

As of Friday, almost 250 people had signed up for the community sessions, and arrangements are being reviewed for overflow seating and online streaming options to ensure as many citizens are able to participate as possible. We do still have 

Open House, Open Studio

In addition to the public presentations, the design team will hold “open studio” hours during the week for those who cannot attend the evening events.

Similar to an open house event, the open studio times are available for community members to visit with design team members, ask questions and provide suggestions for the future of the West Main Street area, view the conceptual and draft design drawings, and watch the design team at work.

Open Studio hours, again located at the SCI Building on West Garden Street, are:

Monday, April 8 from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m

Wednesday, April 10 from 1:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m

Studer Properties President Andrew Rothfeder said, “In addition to the expertise of the design team of Jeff Speck and DPZ Partners, community input and support will be what makes the project truly successful.

The final master plan will be completed by the middle of summer.


Meet the Team

Speck and Associates is a city planning and urban design firm which advocates internationally for more walkable cities. As Director of Design at the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 through 2007, Speck presided over the Mayors’ Institute on City Design and created the Governors’ Institute on Community Design. Prior to his federal appointment, Mr. Speck spent ten years as Director of Town Planning at DPZ & Co., the principal firm behind the New Urbanism movement. Since 2007, Jeff has led Speck & Associates, a private design consultancy serving public officials and the real estate industry. With Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Mr. Speck is the co-author of Suburban Nation, which the Wall Street Journal calls “the urbanist’s bible.”

Marina Khoury is an expert in sustainable urban redevelopment, regional planning, transit-oriented developments, affordable housing and form-based codes. As a partner at DPZ Partners, she has been Director of its Washington D.C. office since 2007. A licensed architect and fluent in several languages, Khoury has worked on the design and implementation of projects in the US, Canada, Europe and the Middle East including ground-breaking new codes around the world that mandate resilient urbanism. She speaks globally widely on issues related to Smart Growth and affordable, sustainable, and walkable communities.

DPZ Partners was founded in 1980 by Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk to replace suburban sprawl with neighborhood-based planning. After establishing the new firm, they went on to design the widely-praised, planned community of Seaside, FL and co-founded the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU). DPZ is a leader in planning, urban design and architecture, with over 300 inner city and greenfield projects from architecture to regional plans. Their master plans and design codes are currently being applied to sites ranging from 10 to 10,000 acres throughout the United States and abroad. DPZ has prepared master plans for developments in the Philippines, China, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, the UAE, Egypt, Scotland, Canada, Germany, Belgium, Russia, India and Turkey.