With the upswing in WELL certifications and Universal-Access features, it was only a matter of time before developers realized that a healthy lifestyle could be also be a luxury amenity. Nicholas Nehmas of the Miami Herald reports that the new $200 million mixed-use development going up near Aventura mall is dedicated to healthy living. According to architect Bernard Zyscovich, “an active lifestyle is an attraction” that will make his Aventura ParkSquare project very sought-after.
Central to the development is the idea of a comfortably walkable community core. Instead of driving around or sitting in the air-conditioning, residents will be able to navigate the 7.5-acre community on spacious sidewalks that are shielded from rain and heat by a landscaped protective canopy. The walkways will not have curbs, which Zyscovich hopes will encourage joggers and strollers, walkers, and the wheelchair-bound, to roam free from the beaten path.
Integra Investments principal Victor Ballestas says, “we want people walking from location to location…Ultimately walkability is good for business.” Integra is one of the project’s development partners.
Consultant Dr. Karen Lee, formerly of the New York City Department of Health, specializes in public health consulting for urban planning. Public health-informed urban planning and architectural design has evolved into its own discipline: “active design.” When asked about the role of active design in the Aventura ParkSquare project, Dr. Lee explains that, “There’s now a strong base of evidence that when you design physical activity into your buildings and streets and neighborhoods, it can increase people’s physical activity.” As America’s current epidemics are obesity and diabetes, “creating healthy streets and neighborhoods can be an incredible tool for improving public health,” she says.
The development will include Class-A office space, restaurants, retail shopping, a hotel, a small medical office, a residential tower with 131 units, and a senior living facility. The community will feature fitness studios, a roof-top pool, and an urban garden where residents can grow their own food. Inclusion of natural light in the wide stairwells and corridors will give residents “the option of walking comfortably instead of taking the elevator,” Zyscovich said. The residences range from 1,000 to 1,800 square feet in size, with a price range of $400k-$800k.
Located at the corner of 2900 Waterways Boulvard and Northeast 207th street, Aventura ParkSquare is expected to break ground during the first quarter of this year, and is slated for completion in early 2017.