Historic

Northwest Rising

Project Objective

Prototype community ideas to inform a strategic framework for the revitalization of the historic Sunset Lounge and surrounding area.

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  • Date: 2016
  • City: West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
  • Partners:
  • Funding provided in part by:

Historic Northwest Rising is a unique community engagement initiative led locally by the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), along with consultants Mosaic Group, Surale Phillips, and Dr. Alisha Winn.

8 80 Cities and Better Block are providing community engagement and prototyping services, respectively.

The intiative is a recipient of a Knight Cities Challenge grant, generously awarded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The Sunset Lounge is an iconic jazz club. During segregation, it hosted acts like Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, and Duke Ellington, drawing crowds from all over the city. After segregation, the venue no longer attracted big names. Most middle and upper class black families moved out of the neighborhood. After decades of disinvestment, the Northwest District continues to struggle to attract businesses and homeowners to the area.

The CRA took recently acquired the Sunset Lounge and is set to restore the venue. ​Our job is to conduct the first-ever large-scale community consultation in the Northwest. We want to better understand how the restoration of the Sunset Lounge and surrounding lands can re-establish the Northwest neighborhood as a cross-cultural destination while also improving opportunities for neighborhood residents.

In November 2016, we held our first round of public engagements and received input and ideas from nearly 500 community members.

In April 2016, we will be working with Better Block, the local team, and community members to build and test prototypes of community ideas on the site the Sunset and its surrounding lands.

8 80 Cities will collect user data and feedback about the prototypes which will inform the strategic plan for the Sunset and its surrounding community. For updates and more information on the project, please visit: www.northwestrising.com

Project Impact
496

community members engaged in first round of public consultations

3000+

ideas collected

4

days of public engagement events