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DHK’s Master Plan for the comprehensive revitalization of Manuel A. Perez marked the first time that innovative, contemporary community planning and urban design principles were applied to a major public housing community in Puerto Rico. This 400-unit HOPE VI development is one of the most significant public housing projects on the Island and its comprehensive modernization forms part of the Commonwealth’s plans to create “La Nueva Puerta de San Juan” – the new gateway into the City of San Juan. To this end, the new Master Plan breaks up the old super block and creates smaller city blocks with clusters of buildings that define local sub-neighborhoods. The introduction of through streets creates a new urban pattern with a sequence of blocks and streets that restores key features of a traditional residential community.

The scope of improvements included upgrading the units to conform to current codes and design standards, the redistribution of unit sizes to better accommodate the resident population and the implementation of urban design improvements to increase safety and strengthen the sense of community.