Key West’s famous Duval Street set to receive a makeover

Duval Street redesign rendering – Courtesy: KCI Technologies

Monroe County’s biggest tourist trap is set to receive a redesign fit for the future. Only this redesign will use the community’s public input and ideas to revitalize the iconic street in the country’s southernmost city.

According to Keys Weekly, the company leading the rebuilding project of Duval Street, KCI Technologies, is expected to gather local community input within the coming weeks about the future of the Key West strip.   

Bruce Reed of KCI Technologie told city commissioners on Feb. 2 that the intent was to gather community priorities and input within the coming weeks before they begin the project.

Key West Mayor Teri Johnston reminded the commission in the same meeting that the reason the city chose KCI to lead the Duval Street project was because of the company’s plan to use city stakeholder’s ideas in the upgrade process. Commissioner Sam Kaufman also chimed in by asking Reed to update fellow commissioners with ample time about public meetings so that information could be shared with voters.

The plan for Duval Street includes the following:

  • Creating an accessible and engaging public outreach plan for community solicited ideas that will be guided by a marketing campaign of #DesignDuval, #DestinationDuval, and #DowntownDuval.
  • Identifying opportunities for public art and transformational elements along the street 
  • Addressing and improving infrastructure to reduce business and taxpayer costs 
  • Improve safety for commuters including foot traffic and vehicles while maintaining mobility

“Our approach will take into consideration the residents surrounding Duval Street, the cultural arts businesses, the retail and dining opportunities, and the entertainment establishments. One size will not fit all,” read a KCI statement. “Additionally, the design will find ways to provide connectivity to Mallory Square, Pier B, Bahama Village, the Historic Seaport, and beyond Old Town. A priority of this project is to bring residents to Duval Street and make access easy, enjoyable and frequent.”

The city’s request for quote (RFQ) states, “The goal of the project is to renovate and revitalize Duval Street to increase opportunities for public use as an iconic civic space for leisure, commerce, and tourism; address the infrastructure which will allow for reasonable maintenance frequency and reduce costs to businesses and taxpayers; improve safety for pedestrians and vehicles, and maintain mobility for desired transit operations for all users.”

Duval Street runs north and south from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean, spanning a mile and a quarter in length. The famed street is home to some major events such as “Fantasy Fest,” which welcomes over 50,000 costumed party-goers during the final week in October leading up to Halloween.  

The plan behind soliciting local ideas to drive the project will likely maintain the originality and integrity of the famous Key West avenue while also reinvigorating the area’s energy for years to come.

As of now there is no final date set in stone for project completion.

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