With so much getting canceled this year, it’s encouraging to see some things go on as planned.
The Underline, Miami’s first linear park/mixed-use trail, will open the first phase of a larger 10-mile project on October 1. Dubbed the Brickell Backyard, this initial segment will be the trail’s northernmost point and encompass the half-mile area extending from the Miami River to Coral Way. It’s a unique concept designed as rooms that respond to the immediate surroundings and needs of the local community—from dogs to urban athletes to families looking for fresh ways to engage with the outdoors.
The River Room (between Miami River and SW 7th St) closest to the bank will have an excellent vantage point of the river and house a dog park for residents of the many nearby high-rises. Folks looking for a place to exercise can head to the Gym (between 7th and 8th Streets), featuring a wrap-around track that weaves through a basketball court and bodyweight exercise equipment. Arrived on two wheels for your workout? The Bike Lot will hold enough parking for 59 bicycles and feature three repair stations.
The Promenade will be the Backyard’s main gathering place. It’s a large area designed for social activities where people will be able to watch concerts from a community stage, sit down for a game of domino or chess and break bread at a 50-foot communal dining table. While mingling may not be ok right now, proper social-distancing practices are being worked out ahead of the fall opening.
Built-up but still idyllic, the Brickell Backyard will have paths punctuated by lush greenery and even feature four butterfly gardens as part of the Oolite Room—named for the existing oolite stone formations directly beneath the Metrorail. A half-mile stretch of construction may not seem like a major advancement for a development destined to be 10 times its size, but we’ll take any glimpse of a brighter future. If it’s a teaser of a transformed urban core with public art, walkways and gorgeous landscaping, we’re here for it even more.
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