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CityPlace, West Palm Beach, Florida, property identity sign

CITYPLACE

WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA

 

New Wayfinding Solutions for a Popular Downtown Lifestyle Center.

 

Tucked within the downtown streets of West Palm Beach, this upscale lifestyle center is a model for the New Urban ideal of an urban mixed-use development. Opened in 2000, CityPlace's dramatic Mediterranean architecture is home to over 80 national stores, specialty shops, restaurants, entertainment venues, offices and residences all set in an atmosphere reminiscent of a European town center. But as its popularity rose, visitors struggled to find parking—creating massive traffic jams during peak hours—despite the ample parking opportunities available in the multiple garages around the property. The Related Group turned to us to help solve this problem.

 

CityPlace, West Palm Beach, Florida, internally illuminated parking directional sign
CityPlace, West Palm Beach, Florida, property identity sign
CityPlace, West Palm Beach, Florida, illuminated parking garage identity sign

INVISIBLE SIGNS

Our detailed study of the situation revealed that there were several issues contributing to these parking problems. Most of the garages were so well integrated into the center's architecture and city streets that they were not obvious to passing drivers. This was compounded by the fact that the existing garage identity signs were poorly located and dramatically undersized for the typical viewing distances and driver sight lines. In addition, the existing parking directional signs were scarce and ineffective. Inside the actual garages visitors faced other navigational issues from remembering what garage they parked in, what floor they parked on, and finding elevators and exits. One other important issue that added to the confusion was the lack of adequate branding and identity on the property. There was no sense of arrival because the CityPlace name was far too difficult to spot at property gateways and entries, which left visitors struggling to locate the property along primary access routes.

CityPlace, West Palm Beach, Florida, internally illuminated parking directional sign
CityPlace, West Palm Beach, Florida, internally illuminated valet identity sign
CityPlace, West Palm Beach, Florida, internally illuminated parking directional sign

MENDING THE WAYFINDING

To solve these issues, we created a new wayfinding strategy for identifying the property and directing visitors to garages and valets. The new system was designed to steer visitors along the major perimeter routes, to the most direct garage access points—reducing both the congestion on interior streets and driver frustration. We proposed a major revision to the development's main entry signage, dramatically increasing the size of the branding and creating a gateway entrance that was highly visible from the main access routes. The new sign system included completely re-designed illuminated parking directional and garage identity signage that complemented their Mediterranean setting, while clearly and boldly guiding visitors to garages and valets. The new directional signs feature large symbols, arrows, and text designed to stand out amongst other competing visuals in this congested downtown setting. New garage identity signs are scaled and positioned properly above garage entries making them easy to spot from a distance. Unique names were given to each garage, and the name is featured prominently at garage entries and signage. New interior garage directional signs alleviate traffic confusion and use distinct colors and graphics to better direct and orient both drivers and pedestrians. Large illuminated valet stand identity signs make it easy for visitors to identify drop-off locations.

CityPlace, West Palm Beach, Florida, pedestrian sign
CityPlace, West Palm Beach, Florida, garage level identity sign
CityPlace, West Palm Beach, Florida, illuminated valet only and do not enter sign

THE RIGHT STUFF

To implement this new system we created detailed documentation including sign location plans, sign message schedules, and design intent documents detailing each new sign type. We assisted the owner with bidding and awarding the scope of work to a qualified local sign fabricator, and supervised the fabrication and installation process. Once installed, the center experienced an immediate and dramatic improvement in their parking issues. Traffic tie-ups within internal streets all but disappeared, and both visitor orientation and customer satisfaction measurably improved. Impressed, the City of West Palm Beach implemented a complimentary new parking system a few years later throughout many of its City garages and parking lots.

CityPlace, West Palm Beach, Florida, parking directional design intent drawing
CityPlace, West Palm Beach, Florida, garage identity design intent drawing
CityPlace, West Palm Beach, Florida, parking directional design intent drawing

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