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CRA selects Zyscovich Architects to design 2030 Vision Plan

By Staff | Feb 17, 2010

The Community Redevelop-ment Agency selected Miami-based Zyscovich Architects to design its 2030 Vision Plan.
Headed by Bernard Zyscovich, the firm has designed CRA master plans for the cities of Miami and Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and New Orleans, among others.
The firm specializes in urban planning, architecture, interior design and landscape architecture.
Zyscovich previously toured Cape Coral personally, saying he left with the impression that the city presents unique challenges.
“This place has incredible natural resources and we need to figure out how to take advantage of that,” Zyscovich said. “There should be people on the street day and night.”
Zyscovich beat out three other companies to be awarded the contract: Chicago-based Houseal Lavigne, Fort Myers-based LaRue Planning and Management Services and Naples-based RWA consulting.
According to CRA Executive Director John Jacobsen, the CRA now moves into negotiating the terms of the contract with Zsycovich.
Jacobsen estimated negotiations would take about a month, as they hash out the scope of the work, price and scheduling.
If terms cannot be met, then the CRA will move onto its second choice, Houseal Lavigne.
“We haven’t spent any money yet, nor are we committed to spending any money,” Jacobsen said.
Zyscovich’s ideology leans heavily on “real urbanism,” which takes into account quality of life when laying out a master plan.
He previously authored the book “Getting Real About Urbanism,” a 160-page tome that, according to Amazon.com’s description, “looks at city planning and design in a multi-dimensional way.”
Zyscovich said Tuesday he doesn’t want to recreate South Beach or any other communities in Cape Coral.
Instead, he wants to find out what qualities are unique to the Cape, and lay a foundation upon those qualities.
“We don’t copy, we originate,” he said. “We need to figure out what makes Cape Coral special.”
Jacobsen said he believes the board ultimately chose Zyscovich because of that mind set, believing that economics will play the biggest role in envisioning the Cape future.
“You need to look at what you are and move forward from that,” Jacobsen said.
There could be some conflict between the proposed Village Square project and Zyscovich’s vision of the Cape, as Zyscovich said it seemed the project was “left over from another time,” specifically citing the residential uses for the property.
“Some elements need to be retained,” he said, “but some elements don’t pass the common sense test with me.”
Jacobsen said it was too premature to say if the project and the vision plan would conflict.