The Downtown San Bernardino Specific Plan imagines and describes the steps to revitalize one of Southern California’s larger downtowns. Covering 600 acres in the heart of San Bernardino, the plan promotes high-quality jobs, arts and culture venues, unique shops and businesses, pedestrian-friendly streets and paseos, historic preservation, and a range of housing opportunities.
The center of the plan is the reconstruction of the dormant and city-owned Carousel Mall site into a vibrant, mixed-use anchor. PlaceWorks collaborated in regular workings sessions with the master developer of the mall site to create development standards that will apply equally to the mall and the rest of the downtown. In addition to these meetings, PlaceWorks set up an intensive program of in-person and online workshops, advisory committee meetings, pop-up events, and other forms of public outreach to inform plan creation.
The Downtown Specific Plan includes a new zoning code for the downtown, with streetscape standards, allowable land uses, a form-based code, and a process for expediated project review. Unlike previous vision plans for Downtown San Bernardino, this plan will align vision with development standards, setting the stage for an investment boom.
Alan Loomis was Principal of Urban Design on the Downtown San Bernardino Specific Plan team.