Downtown Fort Walton Beach is located in the heart of Florida’s Emerald Coast and is the cultural center of the City. The existing alignment and increasing traffic volumes of Highway 98 on Miracle Strip Parkway, the historic “main street” of the Fort Walton Beach downtown, has shifted the focus from pedestrians to vehicles through this critical commercial corridor which has negatively impacted downtown businesses and minimized redevelopment opportunities. Matrix Design Group was retained by the City to create a visionary and transformative vision of the downtown as a unique, destination-based, entertainment district.
Matrix led a variety of stakeholder workshops, community surveys, and public presentations to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to the future of the downtown area. The planning efforts focused on transportation alternatives that would shift the alignment of Highway 98 north of the downtown core thereby reclaiming Miracle Strip Parkway as a pedestrian-focused, mixed-use corridor that celebrates existing attractions such as the Landing and the Heritage Park and Cultural Center while also creating optimal redevelopment opportunities.