Southeast planning + design
Our mission is to improve mobility, enhance communities, and contribute to economic vitality.
Southeast community planning urban design landscape architecture real estate transportation planning
our philosophy We work collaboratively to plan, design and create dynamic, balanced communitiesâ€”communities that connect people to each other, to destinations and to life in thriving, natural, built and socially engaging places.
Promote conservation and management of natural and cultural resources in a way that enhances the built environment.
Provide balanced transportation choices that maximize connectivity, accessibility, safety, efficiency, and value.
Photo property of the BBCRA
use Encourage choice, economic vitality, and community.
Shape the built environment to optimize use, mobility, and place.
Create memorable places to enhance long-term value and quality of life.
our experience We create dynamic, healthy communities in thriving natural, built, and socially engaging places. Our award-winning planning and design team offers the following services to public and private clients across Florida, the Southeast and the Caribbean.
Parramore Comprehensive Neighborhood Plan
community planning Parramore Comprehensive Neighborhood Plan Orlando, FL Mayport Village Community Redevelopment Plan Jacksonville, FL Most Livable City Plan Gulf Breeze, FL Green Works Community Action Plan Orlando, FL
We partner with communities to imagineâ€”or reimagineâ€” their future, plan around that vision, and realize the goals through effective implementation. Our clients include local governments, Community Redevelopment Agencies, and public transportation agencies.
To build widespread community support, we develop achievable plans based on detailed technical planning and design. Our approach strategically implements new policies, programs, and projects that directly and tangibly impact communities. We craft tools to create new public and private sector investments; assess future development initiatives; optimize scarce City and stakeholder resources; and align the right partners to make real, lasting change.
We recognize that every place is unique and that successful projects must reflect and fit within their surroundings.
Our planners and designers collaborate with communities, developers, land owners, and stakeholders to brainstorm, plan, revise, and revisit a wide array of ideas for each project. Experience the range of successful projects we have collaborated on to help shape communities throughout Florida and beyond.
West Ocala Community Redevelopment Area, City of Ocala, FL
urban design Oxford Road Redevelopment Plan Seminole County, FL East Town Center Redevelopment Altamonte Springs, FL
We access our collective knowledge to create unique places of lasting value. We blend our talents and skills in planning, landscape architecture, and engineering to craft sustainable built environments. For projects of all scales and sizes, we establish a collaborative plan with a strategy to bring that vision to life.
To create lasting value, each project and community must draw from its unique context of the environment, culture, and history to design places that will endure. With our deep understanding of these aspects, we create spaces that enhance a communityâ€™s traditions, yet remain sustainable and flexible.
Sustainable Design Our LEED-accredited professionals are experienced in environmental design, landscape architecture, urban placemaking, and construction. They are specialists in providing sustainable design solutions that meet the project program and are cost-effective.
East Town Center Transit Oriented Development
Our collaborative approach to incorporating sustainable development practices into regional vision plans, master planned communities, and walkable neighborhoods has successfully integrated streets, the public realm, private spaces, and vertical design to form places that create a lasting impression.
landscape architecture Boynton Harbor Marina Boynton Beach, FL Creative Village Central Park, Orlando, FL UCF College Campus Orlando, FL Jumby Bay, Antigua West Indies Eagle Creek Development Orlando, FL
We design in harmony with the natural environment while remaining innovative and flexible enough to meet changing conditions, and social and cultural needs. Our team strives to create outdoor environments that enrich the way we live, work, and play. The result is a memorable space that enriches the spirit and promotes a healthy lifestyle. These spaces range from active sports complexes to entertainment venues to residential courtyards and gardens. We provide a range of services from conceptual design to detailed construction documents and construction observation.
Photo property of the BBCRA
We anticipate the needs of our clients and embrace their goals to deliver landscape design solutions. Our approach is founded on the recognition that we are environmental stewards for generations to come. We integrate our environmental and landscape architecture practices into the unique land development and transportation context of each project and make it our goal to reinforce a communityâ€™s sense of place and identity through thoughtful design.
Boynton Harbor Marina
VHBâ€™s integrated services approach allows us to create bold and visionary outcomes, while applying our technical proficiency to plan and design sensitive and complex sites. Our landscape architects provide detailed analyses devised with contextual realities in mind. With this level of collaboration, we are uniquely poised to offer creative planning and design solutions that help shape more livable and sustainable communities and developments.
real estate Horizon West Orange County, FL Wellness Way Lake County, FL Avalon Park Orange County, FL Baldwin Park Orlando, FL
We create solutions to meet client goals within the context of the public approval arena. Whether it be entitlement strategy, master planning, or detailed design, our team focuses on balancing client needs, environmental issues, social context, and financial feasibility when creating successful results.
We partner with leading developers and investors to bring their vision to lifeâ€”creating great spaces that enhance communities, but also maximize return on investment. We thrive on projects where design, land use, natural environment, and transportation intersect. These projects allow our innovation and technical excellence to create a product that follows growth management and regulatory standards.
Whether new development, redevelopment, land acquisition, or positioning a property in the marketplace, VHBâ€™s deep connections throughout the central Florida marketplace and beyond provide an experience second to none in the consulting profession. These projects demonstrate how we have shaped communities for decades.
transportation planning Oxford Road Redevelopment Plan Seminole County, FL US 17-92 Corridor Seminole County, FL Vision Zero Action Plan Orlando, FL Central Avenue Corridor Study Kissimmee, FL
Transportation affects both the present and our future through daily routines and investments. As stewards of transportation infrastructure, itâ€™s a demanding balance between maintaining safe, quality facilities and assets with tighter budgets. At VHB, we know the challenges facing our transportation clients, and we know what it takes to deliver smart solutions to keep people moving.
We anticipate the challenges facing our transportation clients, and make the right decisions to move their projects forward. Our practice is centered on sustainable planning, design, construction and operation for all modes of transportation.
We bring an open-minded approach to each project and we are committed to listening and truly understanding our clientsâ€™ needsâ€” we see the whole picture, not just one piece. We integrate the right people and resources from our five core service areas to help clients initiate and complete intricate, challenging, and significant projects.
The Grow | Central Floridaâ€™s First Agrihood Creating walkable neighborhoods
170,000 sf non-residential
distinctive community with a sense of place
Our neighborhood design approach combines the principles of Healthy Community Design (HCD) with pedestrian-oriented design to create memorable, enduring neighborhoods. HCD emphasizes design tenants to encourage a more active, socially engaging lifestyle. To do this, we maximize pedestrian activity in safe, secure neighborhoods with little to no cut-through traffic. We reduced local streets to maintain development opportunities in a way that still increases pedestrian open space to offer more active lifestyle opportunities. This approach reduces the length of local streets, increases bike/ped facilities, increases open space, and reduces short vehicular trips while maintaining the development program.
Baldwin Park A mixed-use community of traditional neighborhoods
homes, condominiums, and apartments
310,000 sf retail space
acres of parks, lakes, and open space
In one of the largest infill redevelopment projects in the United States, we helped New Broad Street Management transform the abandoned, environmentally stressed Orlando Naval Training Center into a sustainable, mixed-use community of traditional neighborhoods. Using time-tested principles of New Urbanism, we designed a smart, healthy master planned community mixing residential, schools, commercial, and civic uses all in close proximity, while creating pedestrian friendly neighborhoods each anchored by a park.
Wellness Way A network of healthy communities
We collaborated with property owners in Lake County to help move forward the South Lake Sector Plan. The proposed plan was a simple, flexible, and predictable long-range planning tool for job creation, recreation, health, and agriculture. The goal was to create a major healthy community with the employment center northwest of Orlando and on creation of Wellness Corridors. These corridors link each neighborhood to the employment centers, schools, and parks, ultimately creating a multimodal approach to transportation and the resources for a healthy community. Wellness Way will enable Lake County to diversify its economy. Lake County will also be able to protect natural resources and strengthen its connectivity with other economic hubs in the region.
Gulf Breeze The â€œMost Livable City Master Planâ€?
300,000 sf retail and restaurants
Our team created a master plan for the City of Gulf Breeze that fashioned a vision and long-term strategy for economic development. The goal was to create a balanced transportation network. To do this, we considered the needs of alternative modes of transportation as well as those of vehicles in the master planning process. We engaged the community to understand their needs and to develop consensus for the future development of the City. With community feedback, we created a market-driven 50-year vision for the City, including specific actions for implementation. We have continued to work with the City of Gulf Breeze to amend the Cityâ€™s Comprehensive Plan, incorporating mixed-use development design guidelines and a process for development review in areas identified as catalysts for development.
East Town Center Redevelopment Plan A new downtown district
600,000 sf retail
1.1M sf office
VHB prepared a transit-oriented development master plan to create opportunity for economic development for the City of Altamonte Springsâ€™ East Town Center district, which includes City Hall and the SunRail commuter rail station. We developed a plan for the dense, pedestrian friendly, urban place and worked with the City to identify areas to jump start economic development, create an estimated cost benefit analysis, and implement new design guidelines. The result is a new downtown district with a sense of place.
City of Orlando Green Works Community Action Plan The sustainable city energy & green buildings local food systems green economy livability solid waste transportation water
Mayor Buddy Dyer launched The City of Orlando Green Works program in 2007 with the goal of transforming the City of Orlando into one of the most sustainable cities in the southeast. Our team led the project with an outline of action items and objectives to help propel the City toward its end goal. The city has launched projects outlined in the original plan, including a free backyard composting program, Complete Street policies, new community gardens, a car-share and bike-share program, and the retrofitting of thousands of commercial and residential homes to increase city-wide energy efficiency.
Parramore Comprehensive Neighborhood Plan 3
catalyst site revitalization concept plans
Award of Excellence | American Planning Association, Florida Chapter, 2015 Planning Award | Florida Redevelopment Association, 2015 Certificate of Merit, Downtown Achievement Awards | International Downtown Association, 2017
Balancing cultural heritage and economic development Shaping our communities in a meaningful way is at our core. That’s why the City of Orlando turned to us for help with preparing the Parramore Comprehensive Neighborhood Plan— because we understand how to balance the conservation of cultural heritage with the need for economic development. Our team delivered creative, practical solutions that will preserve, revive, and reconnect the Parramore neighborhood to the city at large. Partnering with the City of Orlando, we developed a comprehensive neighborhood plan for the 819-acre Parramore community with several key objectives: Encourage fair, affordable, and attainable housing Re-establish the disjointed street grid and remove barriers to improve access to SunRail and its connections to employment centers the regional commerce Improve multimodal transportation opportunities
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Terry Ave Realignment
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Horizon West Sector Plan Our village template
Horizon West, Floridaâ€™s first sector plan, targeted 21,000 acres of citrus groves for development in 1993. Our team crafted a development plan to prevent urban sprawl. Seizing the opportunity for cutting-edge planning, we drew inspiration from the early 20th century work of Sir Ebenezer Howard, new urbanism, and the city of Winter Park, Florida. We prepared a village template, which required independent, self-sustaining villages through specific area plans, and we set the standard for future projects of this type that would follow.
Â© Aero Photo www.aerophoto.com
Independence Neighborhood Opportunity for economic development
Planning neighborhoods that become hometowns is our specialty. Independence, made up of the Signature Lakes and Stillwater Crossings neighborhoods within the Village of Bridgewater within Horizon West, is one such place. Residents and visitors are welcomed into this master planned community by two lighted monuments, a 50-foot-high brick and stone clock tower, and a 512-foot reflection pond. The old-fashioned feel continues throughout the community and walking paths, front porches, and alleys. With more than 2,300 units over 1,400 acres focused around a spectrum of residential and commercial uses, the area includes an elementary school, parks, recreational trails, and protected environmental systems. Independence is more than just a collection of housesâ€”itâ€™s a warm, friendly Florida hometown.
Avalon Park Pedestrian-minded
new urbanism design principles
500,000+ sf retail space
One of Central Florida’s best-selling communities, Avalon Park is among the first in the country to feature housing in a Traditional Neighborhood Design (TND) setting that appeals to a broad range of family incomes. Within Avalon’s TND setting lies a Town Center shopping/business district, public schools, and numerous community parks-all within walking or biking distance from every residence. Planned for 20,000 residents at build-out, Avalon Park was also created with an environmentally harmonious design that preserves and enhances sensitive wetlands in the Econlockhatchee River Basin. Incorporating our interdisciplinary team approach, our planners and community designers worked with the developer and regulatory agencies to create commercially viable development guidelines that would articulate Avalon Park’s theme of “Live, Learn, Work, & Play.”
Oxford Road Redevelopment Plan Addressing key components for a long-range plan
central focal point 50,000 sf retail space
acres of mixed uses
The Oxford Road Areaâ€™s regional attraction, pivotal position on transportation, and public/private partnership makes it one of the most important catalyst sites along the US 17-92 corridor. We prepared the Oxford Road Long Range Redevelopment Plan to stimulate redevelopment and reinvestment, using a Complete Streets framework to promote pedestrian and bicycle safety and mobility. Oxford Road will be a Complete Street that encourages pedestrian and bicycle activity in front of urban storefronts.
East Nassau Community Planning Area One of a kind
Our team created a first-of-its-kind large-scale Sector Plan for TerraPointe Services that focused on balancing economic development, employment, residential, and conservation goals for the East Nassau Community Planning Area (ENCPA). The Mobility Network we designed identified improvements, a new transportation system, and funding source. We also provided development standards and regulations to help further the goals of the ENCPA. The innovative strategies to bring economic opportunity to Nassau County has been dubbed one of the Countyâ€™s top achievements.
Mayport Village Community Redevelopment Plan Restoring a working waterfront master planning transportation planning community redevelopment
Award of Merit | American Planning Association, Florida Chapter, 2016
The City of Jacksonville created the Mayport Village Community Redevelopment Plan to encourage economic development in a beloved community. The areaâ€™s historic, ecological, and transitoriented opportunities are unique to the St. Johns River area. Recognizing the potential economic impacts of rehabilitating the working waterfront, we partnered with the City to prepare a Community Redevelopment Plan that could revitalize the local economy and build off of existing natural assets. Our team identified blight indicators, designed catalyst redevelopment projects, and established future capital improvement projects and programs. The documents help entice future developers and provide economic livelihood.
Creative Village Parks and Open Space Master Plan A healthy and active community
2.5 acres of central park
Connecting communities is at the core of what we do. The Creative Village Parks and Open Space Master Plan provides a framework for the development of a connected system of parks and open space in Creative Village to be shared by residents, students and employees in Creative Village, surrounding communities, and visitors to the area. The Master Plan was developed with a specific approach that would lead to an overall design that celebrates the site, creates an active urban environment, and promotes sustainable design practices that enhance the long-term value of Creative Village and the surrounding neighborhood.
Artegon Mall Shopping center mixed-use redevelopment
706,344 sf shopping center
The Artegon Mall is an existing 706,344 sf one-story shopping center that includes a Cinemark Movie theater, Bass Pro Shop, restaurants, mini-golf, and more. In a prime location for tourism, Artegon Mall is located near Fun Spot and multiple commercial areas including the Premium Outlets. Concept plans have been made to redevelop the mall to include retail, hotel, and multifamily residential. With over 138 acres of land focused around a spectrum of residential and commercial uses, including a hotel and multifamily residential lots.
Photo property of the BBCRA
Boynton Harbor Marina Redevelopment project
Downtown Achievement Merit Award | International Downtown Association, 2013
One of the few publicly-owned commercial marinas in Florida, Boynton Harbor Marina has 19 water-related businesses and thriving waterfront restaurants. The goal of the redevelopment project was to preserve of the commercial fishing industry within the City of Boynton Beach and to provide public waterfront access and useable open space. We worked with the Boynton Beach Community Redevelopment Agency to create a master plan that integrates multiple privately owned restaurants, private marina, and condominium developments into the public waterfront and working marina on the Intracoastal Waterway. Our team used conceptual level engineering and the strategic blend of the future land and transportation uses as driving components of the project. We involved the public through 3-D visualization and market analysis findings to collect public viewpoints and future needs. Our landscape architects and engineers received the prestigious 2013 IDA Downtown Achievement Merit Award from the International Downtown Association for this project.
Photo property of the BBCRA
Tortola Pier Park Urban waterfront
retail themed environment
When the client needed a team that not only specialized in resort planning, urban design, and landscape architecture, but carried a proven track record of getting projects built in the Caribbean, their first phone call was to VHB. Armed with extensive design experience and the ability to navigate from project construction to ribbon cutting, the client counted on VHBâ€™s understanding of local development constraints, culture and the technical realities needed in the design of the physical framework of the streets, plazas, gardens, and fountains.
Port of the Year Award, 2017
The project is part of the pier expansion plan that will accommodate more than 4,000 cruise ship passengers visiting daily in Tortola. A gateway to historic Roadtown, it has become the ideal place for both residents and visitors to participate in a true island experience.
SIR FRANCIS DRAKE DRIVE
City of Tampa, Ybor City Vision 2020 Strategic Action Plan broad engagement techniques mobility and design assessments market analysis implementation strategies
VHB was selected to prepare and update for the Ybor City CRA 1 and 2 vision and strategic plan. Working with the City of Tampa, Ybor City Development Corporation, and Planning Commission, VHB utilized broad engagement techniques, mobility and design assessments, market analysis, and implementation strategies for the redevelopment plan. The Ybor City Vision 2020 strategic actions are based upon substantial community engagement and specific existing condition assessments that will document both the success and shortcomings existing within the National Historic Landmark District. Recommendations in turn defined a phased Strategic Action Plan that includes short- and long-term investments and implementation actions. VHB proposed an approach that is efficient, based upon market, design, and engaged community perspectives.
Smart Cities, Healthy Community Design, and Sustainable Infrastructure Roadmap Services Applying the Integrated Sustainability Action Plan (ISAP)
“smart cities” technologies
As an extension of the City’s Integrated Sustainability Action Plan, VHB led an effort to develop capital and operations & maintenance costs of newer “Smart Cities” technologies to integrate into the redevelopment of the 85-acre Tropicana Field site in St. Petersburg. The analysis also considered public infrastructure options that would enhance the health of the surrounding neighborhoods, provide consistency with the ISAP clean energy goals, and enhance the City’s physical resiliency. The analysis will be used to plan the future redevelopment of the Tropicana Field site in a manner that attracts private investment to the area.
Prepare Site Evaluation Assessments Define project redevelopment conditions, limitations, phasing and delivery methods Strategic Action Plan (phasing and cost estimates) Phase 1, 2 and 3 environmental site assessments Complete Streets design standards
Implement Alternative Redevelopment Strategies
Prepare Infrastructure Plans for Phased Redevelopment
Complete Demolition and Preliminary Site Preparation
Public-Private-Partnership (P3) Agreements
Phased redevelopment of streets, utilities, stormwater, and public realm elements
Schematic Design (30%)
Construction Documents (60%â€“Final)
Brownfield remediation Preliminary grading Preliminary stormwater
Construct Public Infrastructure for Phase Redevelopment RFP Design-Bid-Build / Design-Build/CM at-risk Developer invitation to participate Construction administration
Selective geotechnical borings Ownership, encumbrance, title reports Boundary survey/legal descriptions County land ownership agreement modification
Tampa Bay Rays lease development agreement update
The Economic Promise of Healthy Community Design The connection between community health and the built environment has long been understood. Where we live, work, and play has an enormous impact on our health and well-being. Communities that are designed in a way that supports physical activity— a network of complete streets with sidewalks, bike lanes, street trees, and plantings, access to transit, active recreation and healthy food choices— encourage and support residents to make healthy choices and live healthy lives. Increased access to green space promotes more frequent social and physical activity, while multimodal
transportation options allow for better connectivity to affordable housing and economic opportunity. Integrating health into our communities through planning, policy, and design has the potential to enrich—and save— lives. Today, more than ever, industry leaders must focus on incorporating healthy community design (HCD) principles into our planning and design work to ensure that infrastructure investments have a positive impact on the health and sustainability of our communities—now and in the future.
Economics of Place
New Urban Design
The ability to create strategies and outcomes around quality of life and economic sustainability that best connects people. Historic and significant buildings, landmarks, complete streets, walkable communities, parks, trails and nature are some of the characteristics that create community identity, strengthen existing businesses, attract new business and increase investment in an area.
Our neighborhood design approach combines HCD values with pedestrian-oriented design to create memorable, enduring neighborhoods. HCD emphasized design tenants that provide a more active, socially engaging lifestyle through the organization of the built environment. To best understand how to achieve these goals, VHB studied the five classic, iconic American communities. We took the best features of each and combined them with the Walkable Grid Neighborhood Design.
Land Use Versus Form Based Design Suburban neighborhoods and highway commercial sprawl have typically seen limited design variation because of land use controls. Today, a strong emphasis is being placed upon the design. One of the driving influences is to design places for people instead of the car. Vast seas of asphalt in front of stores or a line of barren garage doors on a residential street is vehicle based design. Interesting streets designed for pedestrian comfort is todayâ€™s vision of placemaking.
When the Economicsof Place is executed effectively, we find people are happy and proud about where they live while increasing financial revenues.
who we are
Chris Brown, asla
Director, Development Management Services
SE Region Client Development Manager
Senior Landscape Architect
Senior Landscape Architect
John Jennings, asla
Tyler Johnson, aicp
Ken Schwartz, aicp, ncics
Katie Shannon, aicp, cnu-a
Senior Vice President Planning/Urban Design
Laura Everitt, Esq., aicp,
Transit & Rail Planning Manager
Curt Ostrodka, aicp, leed ap, ncics
Fabricio Ponce, pe
John Prowell, pe
Vashon Sarkisian, ncics
Transportation Systems Manager
Director of Land Development
Senior Urban Designer
Neale Stralow, pla, aicp, env sp
Shawn Tofte, asla
Ryan Tury, asla
Senior Planner/Project Manager
Director of Community Planning
For more information contact:
Curt Ostrodka, aicp, leed ap, ncics Director of Community Planning email@example.com 407.893.4788
Services Campus Planning Community Planning Comprehensive Planning Corridor Planning Due Diligence GIS Hospitality/Entertainment Design Institutional Planning Land Use Planning Landscape Architecture Open Space Planning Public Outreach Sustainability Planning Urban Design/Placemaking Urban Renewal Planning Visioning Visualization/3-D Modeling Waterfront Planning Zoning Analysis