News

The January 2020 issue of Hemispheres Magazines gives its top 20 reasons to travel in 2020 and includes the opening of The Underline’s first phase one this summer.

#14 Explore Miami’s Game Changing New Park

About 70,000 commuters use Miami’s Metrorail each day, and city planners aim to turn the unused space beneath its tracks into an exciting new public space, a 10-mile linear park aptly named The Underline. Luckily, the Magic City is in good hands: The project is being helmed by James Corner Field Operations, the geniuses behind New York’s High Line. “Both projects share similarities in their overarching goals,” says principal designer Isabel Castilla, “to convert a leftover infrastructural space into a public space that connects neighborhoods, generates community, and encourages urban regeneration.” When finished, Miami’s park will be about seven times as long as its Big Apple counterpart. The first half-mile leg, set to open this June, is the Brickell Backyard, which includes an outdoor gym, a butterfly garden, a dog park, and gaming tables that call to mind the dominoes matches you’ll find nearby in Little Havana. “We envision the Underline dramatically changing the way people in Miami engage with public space,” Castilla says. —Nicholas DeRenzo

Read the complete article here.

 

Miami, Fla., Dec. 27, 2019 – Friends of The Underline (FUL), a 501C3 non-profit organization advocating to transform the underutilized land below Miami’s Metrorail into a 10-mile linear park, urban trail and public art destination, today announced that it has added six new board members. The group includes prominent community, business and civic leaders.

Those joining include:

  • Rudy Fernandez, Senior Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications and Chief of Staff to the University of Miami President
  • Alina Tejeda Hudak, former deputy mayor, Miami-Dade
  • Ryan Marks, manager in business consulting services, Kaufman Rossin
  • Grace Perdomo, director of urban design, Zyscovich Architects
  • Salma Merchant Rahmathulla, creative director, Pelicans Group
  • Rudy Prio Touzet, founder and CEO, Banyan Street Capital

”As we get closer to opening the first phase of this project, it is exciting that we continue to attract the attention of Miami’s best and brightest who are willing to give their time and energy to make The Underline happen,” said Meg Daly, President and CEO for Friends of The Underline.  “Fundraising remains one of our highest priorities and it will take a great team of board members to help the community understand how much their support is needed to deliver this transformative project to Miami.”

The first phase of The Underline, The Brickell Backyard, is scheduled to open Summer 2020.

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About The Underline

The Underline is a planned 10-mile urban trail, linear neighborhood park and public art destination that will span from the Miami River, north of Brickell Metrorail station, to Dadeland South. The Underline project will feature dedicated bike and pedestrian paths, amenities, art, programming, lighting, native vegetation as well as safety features and improvements at road crossings. The Underline will be built in phases, the first of which will begin in the Brickell area. For more information visit, www.theunderline.org and/or follow them on social on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @theunderlinemia.

 

 

Miami, FL December, 2019 – Friends of The Underline (FUL), a 501C3 non-profit organization advocating to transform the underutilized land below Miami’s Metrorail into a 10-mile linear park, urban trail and canvas for artistic expression, today announced that it has been awarded a $150,000 grant from Health Foundation of South Florida to support community outreach during planning, design, construction and technology master plan.

Specifically, the grant will fund The Underline’s community outreach for technology, accessibility, health & wellness and connectivity initiatives during the project’s planning, design, construction and technology master plan. The Underline is heavily dependent on community input and the grant from Health Foundation of South Florida will enable additional staff to facility conversations that ensure its facilities and programs are relevant to the hundreds of thousands of people who live in Miami Dade, as wells as tourists and business professionals seeking to utilize the transformative project.

”We are so thankful for the Health Foundation’s significant grant,” said Meg Daly, President and CEO for Friends of The Underline. “This grant will help us reach thousands of people who live, work and study near The Underline. It will enable us to hear not only what they want ON the Underline, but also want they want to DO on The Underline and how they will get there.”

“Health Foundation of South Florida was an early investor in The Underline and, since then, we’ve been nothing but impressed with all that’s been accomplished. Now, we’re proud to continue our support for this next chapter, as the Friends of The Underline seeks greater input from the surrounding community. The work they’re setting out to do—to learn more about the roles technology, art, education and connectivity can play in the further development of The Underline— is critical. Understanding what residents want and how they will actually use the park will ensure what’s built is truly of the community and by the community,” says Steven Marcus, President and Chief Executive Officer of Health Foundation of South Florida.

The first phase of The Underline, The Brickell Backyard, is scheduled to open in June 2020.

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About The Underline
The Underline is a planned 10-mile urban trail, linear neighborhood park and public art destination that will span from the Miami River, north of Brickell Metrorail station, to Dadeland South. The Underline project will feature dedicated bike and pedestrian paths, amenities, art, programming, lighting, native vegetation as well as safety features and improvements at road crossings. The Underline will be built in phases, the first of which will begin in the Brickell area. For more information visit, www.theunderline.org and/or follow them on social on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @theunderlinemia.

About Health Foundation of South Florida
Health Foundation of South Florida, a nonprofit grant making organization, is dedicated to improving health in Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. By funding providers and supporting programs to promote health and prevent disease, the Foundation makes a measurable and sustainable impact in the health of individuals and families. Since 1993, the Foundation has awarded more than $86 million in grants and program support. For more information, please call 305.374.7200 or visit the Web site, www.hfsf.org

The first section of Miami’s own version of New York’s High Line, called The Underline, is due to open next summer. Construction on the first half-mile of the ten-mile $100m urban park and public art space is currently under way; the transformation of the tract of land under the Miami Metrorail that connects Brickell and Dadeland into a public recreation area is due to be completed in 2024.

The idea for the project came in 2013 when Miami resident and Friends of the Underline director Meg Daly was forced to navigate the city on foot after breaking both arms. In search of shade, she walked through the barren alleyway under the tracks and was struck with an idea. “We have a beautiful space,” Daly says of the park she imagines coming to fruition, “but what makes it a place is the programming and the art.”

Read the complete article here.

 

By Jennifer Possley, Conservation Program Manager at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

In the next decade, The Underline will transform downtown and the US1 corridor in Miami, Coral Gables and South Miami from an industrial-looking expanse to an inviting, natural, and people-friendly space.  The project was inspired by New York’s High Line—a linear nature park on a decommissioned railroad line that is a focal point for art installations, community gatherings and programming and public art.  When Friends of The Underline was formed in Miami, founder Meg Daly wanted to replicate the success of New York’s High Line, but with a tropical flair.  Naturally, Meg and the design team from James Corner Field Operations looked to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden for inspiration and wisdom.

Read the complete SoMi Magazine article here.

 

This Give Miami Day (Thurs, Nov. 21), Friends of The Underline and Pinnacle’s Art in Public Places Program are teaming up to give Miami commuters a brighter morning commute: the pair have commissioned local contemporary dancer and choreographer Pioneer Winter to coordinate a surprise roadside performance along US-1 South and Bird Road during morning rush hour from 7-8:30 a.m. The Pioneer Winter creates avant-garde, socially conscious and experimental dance to prompt conversations about social change, The performance will showcase future programming on The Underline when the first phase opens in Brickell in just eight months. Programming will include everything from live music and meditation to nature-inspired educational programming to connect children and adults to The Underlne’s natural landscape. DONATE TO THE UNDERLINE ON GIVE MIAMI DAY HERE.

 WHERE:                    

US-1 South and SW 32nd Ave. near Coconut Grove/Coral Gables

About Pinnacle

Established in 1997, Miami-based Pinnacle is a full-service real estate development company that develops, builds, leases and owns affordably priced and luxury-styled apartment homes.  With a development portfolio surpassing 9,000 units concentrated in Florida, Mississippi, and Texas, the Pinnacle family of developers has grown into one of the most successful developers of quality rental housing in the United States.  www.pinnaclehousing.com

About The Underline

The Underline is a planned 10-mile urban trail, linear neighborhood park and public art destination that will span from the Miami River, north of Brickell Metrorail station, to Dadeland South. The Underline project will feature dedicated bike and pedestrian paths, amenities, art, programming, lighting, native vegetation as well as safety features and improvements at road crossings. The Underline will be built in phases, the first of which will begin in the Brickell area. For more information visit, www.theunderline.org and/or follow them on social on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @theunderlinemia.

About Pioneer Winter

Winter will organize 30 dancers of varying ages, races, body types and abilities (including wheelchair-bound dancers) for the performance, which is brought to life by Pinnacle’s Art in Public Places Program. Created and implemented by Louis Wolfson III, the program works with up-and-coming and established artists alike to provide high-quality public art to brighten the community. Pinnacle most recently commissioned artist Kyle Holbrook to design a mural depicting historic key leaders in Liberty City and artist Rey Jaffet to create Miami’s tallest mural near the airport. Pinnacle launched temporary public art on The Underline with six local artists who unveiled artfully-designed MetroRail columns in Brickell in November 2018.

The project that’s transforming space underneath the Metrorail into a 10-mile linear park, urban trail and living art space is awarded millions in grant money

MIAMI ( November 06, 2019 ) — The federal government announced this week it is awarding $22.3 million towards the design and construction of enhancements for The Underline, a 10-mile linear park underneath the Metrorail guideway.
The Underline first broke ground in November 2018 for the construction of its first phase, the Brickell Backyard. This world-class urban trail is one of Miami-Dade County’s most innovative and fastest-moving multimodal transportation projects. Upon its completion, the expected project cost will be approximately $98.8 million, funded in part by the State of Florida, local municipalities, and private developers making it a true public-private partnership.

The Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW), on behalf of Miami-Dade County and Friends of the Underline, submitted a BUILD Transportation Grant application to the U.S. Department of Transportation requesting a contribution of $22,360,552 for the remaining unfunded transportation costs in order to complete this transformational mobility corridor.

“It’s great news that the Department of Transportation will be awarding Miami-Dade County a $22.36 Million BUILD grant toward the design and construction of The Underline 10-mile multimodal corridor,” said Senator Marco Rubio. “I was proud to work with Secretary Chao and the Dept. of Transportation, ensuring Florida continues to receive critical investment from the federal government in our state’s infrastructure.”

“As a former trustee, I am delighted that the federal government is investing in The Underline,” said Congresswoman Donna Shalala. “It will greatly improve our community’s safety, mobility and connectivity,”

“We are grateful to the U.S. Department of Transportation and to our congressional delegation, particularly Sen. Marco Rubio and Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart in Appropriations and Donna Shalala, whose district includes the Underline, for their advocacy to fund this transformative project,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “The Underline will help develop better connected and more pedestrian-friendly communities for our residents.”

“The award of this federal grant will help ensure the funding needed to keep moving forward with this important multi-use, multi-modal corridor,” said DTPW Director Alice N. Bravo, P.E.

The Underline serves as a transportation solution, a safety strategy, and an economic catalyst. It will connect communities, improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety, and create over 120 acres of open space with restored natural habitats. Once built, it will also encourage a healthy lifestyle by providing an easily accessible place to exercise, and it will create a mobility corridor that integrates transit, car, biking and walking. Just as important, The Underline will attract development along US1, and generate a significant economic impact.

To learn more about The Underline and transit services, visit DTPW’s website. To plan your trip on transit, or track your incoming bus or train in real time, download the free MDT Tracker app.

The Underline to pioneer the future of tech in large-scale public spaces with new funding, hire Chief Information Officer and strengthen infrastructure.

To promote The Underline’s success as a world-class public space that connects and inspires the community, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today announced a new $925,000 investment in the organization’s technology infrastructure, including the development of a technology master plan and expanded professional expertise.

The new funding builds on a series of previous Knight Foundation investments in The Underline, a proposed 120-acre linear park, urban trail and public art destination spanning 10 miles beneath the Miami-Dade County Metrorail. When the idea of The Underline was introduced in 2015, Knight powered the development of its master plan. Last year, as part of a major investment in Miami’s arts ecosystem, Knight contributed $500,000 to activate portions of the park with public art. Knight’s combined support for The Underline, including today’s new investment, totals nearly $2 million.

“Miami is a city on the rise, and The Underline is a game-changing development that further elevates our city as a place of global relevance,” said Raul Moas, Knight Foundation program director for Miami. “As a world-class, resident-driven public space, The Underline has the power to stimulate civic life, create incentives for talented people to live and stay in Miami, and inspire creativity and connections that uplift our community.”

Today’s investment in Friends of The Underline — the nonprofit group leading the initiative to transform the underutilized land — will help the organization to grow its leadership staff by providing funds to hire both a Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Chief Information Officer (CIO). The CIO will guide a process to create a technology master plan informed by residents and experts alike. By integrating technology in the early stages of its development, The Underline will pioneer a vision and model for leveraging technology in large-scale public spaces around the world.

“Technology will be the connective tissue that connects the people, places and activities within The Underline’s 120 acres,” said Meg Daly, founder of Friends of the Underline. “We know technology offers infinite ways to improve this space and bring new ideas to life, but we have to build the foundation based on what’s available today and tomorrow. This investment helps equip The Underline to design a cutting-edge technology infrastructure that puts residents first and unleashes the potential of the space’s creators and users.”

The Underline’s two new leadership positions are expected to be hired by the end of this year. The first phase of The Underline, called Brickell Backyard, will open summer 2020. Phase 2 construction is projected to begin in Spring 2020. Learn more and get updates at theunderline.org.

About Friends of the Underline
Our mission is to deliver and activate a 120-acre, world-class linear park spanning 10-miles below Miami’s Metrorail that will transform regional mobility and celebrate diversity, culture and lifelong learning. Through innovative urban trails and creative programming, we are connecting people to their environment and each other to create a safe, healthy, equitable, and sustainable community.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit kf.org.

We are pleased to announce that Friends of The Underline is growing and is seeking dynamic leaders to take on vital roles in our non-profit organization to support our mission and vision.

We are looking for both a Chief Operating Officer and Chief Technology Officer to lead the organization administratively, financially, and technologically to support our best in class public space, trail, art and programming. Candidates will be self-starters and passionate about how the private sector can partner with the public sector to better advance community, public health, engagement, and city building.

You can find the COO job description here and the CTO job description here.  Please send resume/CV and qualifications to meg.daly@theunderline.org

Miami, I’d like to introduce you to The Underline Collective, a group of young professionals dedicated to the successful delivery and activation of The Underline. This landmark public project will transform 120 acres of underutilized land below Miami’s Metrorail into a world-class, 10-mile linear park and urban trail. Such an ambitious effort requires the support of a diverse group of stakeholders, including the time and enthusiasm of Miami’s millennial workforce.

The Collective has sparked excitement and the imagination of the community through a series of programs exploring The Underline’s impact on local quality of life. In 2016 and 2017, our group converted the often overlooked Brickell Metrorail station into an outdoor festival, complete with live music, food, a dog park, mini-golf, face painting, outdoor yoga, and an eco-friendly fashion show. These activations helped Miami residents imagine the possibilities offered by a safe and healthy public space in their own backyard.

This past April, the Collective hosted our first “Program Your Park” event at WeWork in Brickell City Centre. Armed with markers and every color Post-It note imaginable, members of the public brainstormed events and programs they’d like to see on the future Underline. The result was a rich (and colorful) list of public programs related to health and wellness, education, arts and culture, entrepreneurship, and civic engagement generated by the community. Participants suggested farmers markets, a concert series, interactive art installations, and community gardens – just to name a few! These ideas were collected by Underline staff to be implemented once the park is up and running. We aim to host the Program Your Park event throughout different neighborhoods to reach more diverse audiences over the coming months.

For more information click here.