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Journalism is publishing what someone else does not want published. All the rest is public relations. - George Orwell

Friday, February 22, 2013

Meeting planned to discuss Playhouse's fate

There is a meeting to discuss the Coconut Grove Playhouse next week. It's a private dinner meeting of the Dade Heritage Trust where they will try to save the structure from developers who have their eyes on the place. The public is not invited as this is a private group. They are basically strategizing on how to save the Playhouse structure.

County Commissioner Xavier Suarez will be in attendance. RJ Heisenbottle Architects, of Coral Gables, were invited where they will be making a presentation revealing the design they have come up with to restore the Playhouse. The question is: is the building going to remain intact, will some of it be destroyed, will all of it be destroyed?

$20.5 million dollars is still available for the restoration.

Aries Development, who owns the property, has filed a lawsuit against the Playhouse. It's believed that Aries, which owns Calamari and the restaurants that are part of that complex are moving in to take over a lot of the land in the area so that they can develop the large swath. They also own the old Stirrup House on Charles Avenue, which was to be turned into a Bed & Breakfast. It backs up to the Taurus bar, part of the Calamari complex.

Now that the Playhouse has been put up for grabs, everyone wants a piece -- those who want to preserve it and those who want to develop it and make it condos and a multi-use complex.

The die has been cast in the Grove as far as that is concerned. The Coconut Grove Bank lot will soon be condos, as well as the old Grand Bay Hotel and the land at 3444 Main Highway was also slated to be condos, but that plan has been put on hold.

It's really not far-fetched to see Coconut Grove as another Brickell in a number of years and that's sad because the only thing left in Coconut Grove then will be the waterfront, which apparently is all that these new residents are willing to buy condos for at this point. And of course the waterfront is being eyed for development, so really, nothing of Coconut Grove will be left in the end.

Again, this is a private dinner and it was only brought to my attention by a Facebook page and by friends of the Playhouse. Future meetings will most likely be held on the subject that will be set up for the public.

For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give it baaaaaaccccckk!!!

Give it baaaaaaacccck!!!

February 22, 2013 8:07 AM  
Anonymous Al Crespo said...


The first rule of a community activist/newspaper/blog is to go on the assumption that all of these kinds of meetings are public meetings.

If you know the date/time and location you should always post it. Make the people who might be against openness and transparency the ones who reveal that they oppose public participation.


al crespo

February 22, 2013 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem is the ones against openness (Center Grove Mafia) are too organized and have been playing underhanded and dirty tricks for ever. It is a very difficult task to navigate the system here.

February 22, 2013 11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Change is the only permanent thing. To what year do you want to come back? I am sure that when Coconut Grove started somebody was complaining.
Fortunately there are always people who look forward and not backwards!

February 22, 2013 4:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe the meeting is public.

February 22, 2013 5:49 PM  
Blogger Headly Westerfield said...

It's a blog, Al. Just not a community activist/newspaper/blog. Tom's made that clear.

February 23, 2013 12:22 PM  

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