Source: Transit Oriented Development Institute
Gables Station is a proposed high-density, mixed use TOD project located directly adjacent to the Miami Metrorail line, and a short walk to the Douglas Road Station. The project contains a diversity of uses including 450-500 residential units, an extended stay hotel, approximately 80,000 square feet of retail distributed throughout, including a full service grocery store. The project design creates extensive high quality public space throughout the project for the enjoyment of the residents, visitors, and locals.
The project’s location across from The Underline, a 10-mile linear park and urban bike trail makes the walk to and from the metro station of exceptional quality. The Underline gives pedestrians and bicyclists access to the region at large, connecting the project to a broader transportation network. The project is designed to connect right into this regional amenity creating multiple connections and entry points.
The Gables Station project meets all of the TOD Elements for Certification, receiving a 3-Star Award of Excellence top rating Certification. This project will contribute significantly to redefining and transforming the gateway to Coral Gables into a walkable, mixed-use destination, and help stimulate a trend of similar projects to be developed along the metro corridor. Over time, this project will work together with other new projects in the region to reduce traffic congestion, reduce sprawl, increase metro ridership, and encourage the development of additional compact, walkable, and bikable neighborhoods.
Gables Station is a catalyst project that will spur more transit oriented development at the Douglas Road Station area, as well as other metro stations along the corridor. This project will play a critical role in leading Coral Gables and the south Miami area into a sustainable future.
Certification Criteria Review
The Gables Station project meets the TOD Elements for Certification, receiving a 3 Star top rating, for the following reasons:
- Close Proximity to a Rail Station: This project is located immediately adjacent to the Miami Metrorail line, and a short walk to the Douglas Road Station. In addition, the walk to and from the station is of exceptional quality due to the the project’s location directly fronting The Underline, a 10-mile linear park and urban bike trail. This park and trail gives pedestrians and bicyclists direct and protected access to the station and the region at large. The project is designed to connect right into this regional amenity for seamless rail station connection.
- Well Defined Public Spaces – Outdoor Rooms: The project contains a wide variety of public open spaces, including a well landscaped central square and a network of pedestrian walkways and smaller outdoor spaces. Arcades (covered walkways) extend throughout the project, which helps to define the space, extend and unify the architecture, and serves to protect pedestrians from the sun/rain. Building facades are situated directly along the sidewalk edge, rather than pushed back behind a parking lot, establishing a pattern of development that creates a well-defined ‘street wall’. The construction of the adjoining Underline section – a 2.8-acre park on county land – will also become an extension of the projects own open space.
- Mix of Uses – Lively Vibrant Places: The project contains a diversity of uses including 450-500 residential units, an extended stay hotel, and approximately 80,000 square feet of retail distributed across the project, inclusive of a grocery store. This in and of itself encourages internal walkability (discouraging driving), as residents are able to meet many of their daily needs without leaving the property. In addition, each of the three buildings that comprise the project have an internal mix of uses, resulting in a dynamic, vibrant environment.
- Pedestrian Scale – Comfortable, Safe, Enjoyable: The layout of Gables Station includes many pedestrian amenities, such as wide sidewalks, covered paseos, pedestrian-exclusive public spaces, and an adjoining proposed park. This encourages walkability and accessibility throughout the site, especially when considering the project’s immediate proximity to The Underline. As previously mentioned, the density of services and amenities located within the project site elevates the livability of the project by encouraging pedestrian activity.
- Active Ground Floor Retail: In all three buildings of the project, the ground floor is primarily retail space. The continuous line of shops activates the sidewalk and gives life to the project on all sides. Given the variety of retail floor plate sizes, the developer has the flexibility to lease the spaces to a variety of tenants, large or small.
- Sidewalk Cafes: Sidewalk cafés will be distributed along the primary streets and in the main plaza. Since the sidewalks are lined with retail with plans for shops, cafes, and restaurants, the sidewalks have been planned wider than normal to accommodate the outdoor seating. The pedestrian-only plazas are planned for ample outdoor seating.
- Tree Lined Streets: The Gables Station project has a wide variety of street trees lining the project site, surrounding all three buildings and the public spaces. There are extensive landscaping plans proposed for the project, with a great diversity of plant types. Trees add life to a place by providing pedestrian comfort and urban livability, adding an element of natural beauty that softens the architecture while providing shade.
- Reduced and Hidden Parking: Gables Station has an internal, 4-story shared parking structure concealed inside two of the three buildings. This enables reduced parking overall by serving the entire project with a single garage. The parking structure has one, well-hidden entrance on an internal side street, and it has been designed with attractive facade treatments to minimize its presence within the site.