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Bellomo-Herbert & Co.

What Sets Them Apart

The firm operates under a fundamental planning and design philosophy that seeks to develop design solutions that make a positive contribution to the economic and social values of a community. The professional environment is exceedingly more complex than ever before. This is a truism that applies to both public and private work. Whether the question is growth management, infrastructure delivery, impact mitigation, development regulation or financing alternatives, intelligent, experienced answers are required.

Look across Florida, from the Panhandle to the Keys, and you are likely to see a project designed by the principals of Bellomo-Herbert & Co.

In response to the challenges that growth has pressed upon the state's fragile environment, the firm has endeavored to create not just beautiful works that are sensitive to the environment, but works that tell the story of Florida's rich cultural, historical, environmental and artistic heritage.

Glenn Herbert is a Fellow in ASLA and has been a principal in firms bearing his name for the nearly 40 years he's been in practice. As the firm's President and CEO, Frank Bellomo is the glue that holds everything together, and for nearly 25 years he's been collecting accolades and awards for projects all over the state.

Ruth Perry's ability to design and manage projects, and make the firm profitable, underlines her importance to the group.

The main focus of the firm's work has been in the public sector where they've designed hundreds of public projects that have touched the lives of millions of people. Although they have designed some singularly memorable and important projects, the strength of their work lies in their ability to be invited into a city to design multiple projects that collectively have the power to transform the entire community. The fact that this occurs time and time again speaks volumes about their creative and leadership skills. Recognized as leaders in downtown revitalization, it is not unusual for their park and streetscape projects to become the catalyst for renaissance, creating wonderful environments that are special places to live, work and play.

Sunsplash Park

Sunsplash Park, Daytona Beach

With the removal of parking from areas of the beach in Volusia County, Bellomo-Herbert & Company was challenged to develop replacement parking facilities for various sites along the ocean. Understanding that they were creating a prototype, the firm used this opportunity to develop a concept that reserved a portion of each site to create an oceanfront mini-park. Sunsplash Park, a $1.2 million project, was the first of several such parks.

Sunsplash included an interactive fountain, shaded play areas, picnic facilities, restroom/changing rooms, showers, volleyball courts, and other features, in addition to providing the needed parking. Some of the unique features of this particular park include a "school" of dolphin wind sculptures, two of which double as beach showers, and a decorative kiosk designed for Coca Cola to provide a "cool zone". In addition to housing their vending machines, the two kiosks supply a cooling mist for anyone who needs to cool down without getting wet. By introducing common themes, such as the entrance arches and the "Florida" vernacular architecture for the restrooms, the sites are now easily recognizable as beach gateways.

Honor Award – Florida Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

North Naples Regional Park

North Naples Regional Park, Naples

Few counties in the state are ambitious enough to develop a $53 million, 213 acre regional park, with a $7.5 million water park as its centerpiece, but with the help of Bellomo-Herbert & Company as the prime consultant, that's exactly what Collier County's Parks Department is doing. As the gem of the project, the water park will have a family pool with a waterfall, age-appropriate children's pools, a diving well, a lap pool, an interactive fountain, a 1,500 foot lazy river and water slides emanating from a 65-foot-tall, themed water tower. The park will also include playgrounds designed for toddlers and young children, an eight-field soccer complex, a five-field softball complex, a gymnasium, a community center, and a 5,000 square foot fitness center. To round out the activities, park users can experience a "dig" area where children can unearth replica artifacts depicting Collier County's rich cultural past.

Located on a site containing wetlands that were inundated with invasive tree species, the site has been cleared of all exotics and is slated to be re-vegetated with materials native to the area. Nearly one half of the site, over 100 acres, will be re-naturalized and a system of elevated boardwalks will allow visitors to explore the impact exotics have had on the environment and witness the transformation to a site which reflects South Florida's natural landscape as it existed in its original state.

Beach Street Streetscape

Beach Street Streetscape, Daytona Beach

As part of a major redevelopment effort to help restore what once was a healthy Downtown Business District, the Beach Street Streetscape project re-packaged this Central Business District by completely changing the urban environment and creating a striking new image for the area. Leading a team of traffic consultants and civil engineers, Bellomo-Herbert & Company developed a design that created a new character for downtown, mitigated the impact of an existing four-lane roadway, and provided a physical and psychological connection from the retail shops to the park and waterfront. The addition of a palm-lined median, gateway arches, and mid-block pedestrian crossings helped transform the area from a "go through" place to a "go to" place.

On the day the street re-opened to traffic, phone calls began to flood the city's Development Services office inquiring about available office space. The success of the project led the director to comment, "The consultant's creative exuberance, attention to detail and ability to incorporate key character defining elements into the design has resulted in probably the most unique streetscape project in the state. This proves the quality of design relates directly to the success of all businesses, and a commitment to high quality public improvements relates directly to quality, private investment."

Marine Science Center

Marine Science Center

Marine Science Center, Ponce Inlet

For 15 years Bellomo-Herbert & Co. has been demonstrating to clients and allied professionals their ability to lead multi-disciplinary teams on complicated projects. The Marine Science Center is a great example of this process, where the firm led a team of architects, engineers and exhibit designers in creating a care and recovery center for injured turtles and birds. With severe size limitations imposed by the site, the building was located in a small clearing in the middle of a dense oak hammock. By elevating the building it was possible to raise the habitable space above the flood plane, retain required storm water beneath the building, and the result was a building located "in the trees."

The 6,000 square foot facility contains 3,500 square feet of interactive exhibits depicting the ecosystems of the local maritime estuary, and a wet lab where school children experience a "hands on" learning environment. In addition to the exhibits, boardwalks traverse the preserved natural areas of the park providing a first-hand look at functioning ecosystems.

An exciting aspect of the Marine Science Center is the sea turtle rehabilitation facility. Designed with the assistance of experts from SeaWorld Florida and Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, the rehabilitation area consists of multiple tanks housing sick, injured and wash-back turtles. An observation platform allows visitors to observe these animals as they are cared for by full-time staff. In addition to the holding tanks, there is a surgical room for emergency care. The Marine Science Center is now recognized as one of the premiere sea turtle facilities in Florida, and has opened an eco-tourism market for the county, attracting over 250,000 annual visitors.

Award of Excellence – Florida Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Principals: Glenn Herbert, Frank Bellomo and Ruth Perry, have been working together almost since the firm's inception 15 years ago, and Glenn and Frank go back even further than that. Not wanting to follow the traditional business model, a conscious decision was made to maintain a firm size that was personable, extremely interactive, and supportive--more like a family unit. Small by some standards, the firm's six registered landscape architects and support staff of designers, technicians and administrative personnel generate almost $2 million in annual fees.

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December 7, 2019, 3:52 am PDT

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