VHB worked with the City of Tampa, Ybor City Development Corporation, and the Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission to update a vibrant and historic entertainment district’s Community Redevelopment Area master plan, as well as identify strategic actions to be completed within a short-, mid-, and long-term timeframe. The vision plan update is based on substantial community engagement and planning assessments that documented both the success and challenges existing within the National Historic Landmark District. Ybor City has a vibrant cultural environment that attracts talented people, merchants, and companies to its authentic and distinctive character, but needed to adapt to changing economic conditions and increasing development trends to continue its vibrancy for future generations.
VHB’s approach considered proposed market conditions, embraced historic architectural design, and engaged both business owners’ and residents’ perspectives. Another consideration was community health. VHB used our Healthy Mobility Model to conduct health risk assessments and evaluate the relationships between health outcomes and the social and environmental determinants of health in the community.
Communities that are serious about being resilient, equitable, and sustainable must attract development investors, residents, and visitors to improve their competitiveness. Some action items include activating alleys as entertainment venues, incentivizing shared parking and ride share, increasing access to fresh food, creating pocket parks and green spaces, and providing transportation options that link people to other neighborhoods. VHB helped Ybor City identify its competitive advantage and position the National Historic Landmark District to achieve its vision. Through a series of assessments and discussions, backed by real-world experience and values, the plan update serves as a clear road map that will help decision makers, developers, property owners, residents, and businesses make the decisions necessary to achieve the community’s own consensus-driven vision.