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Daily updates on what's up in Coconut Grove and beyond including Brickell, Coral Gables and Midtown Miami

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Fourth condo to be added to Grove Isle?

Approximate Position and Orientation of Proposed Tower for Grove Isle
The development in Coconut Grove continues now with a plan to demolish the hotel portion of Grove Isle and to add a fourth 18-story condo building in its place. Ironically, one of my best times was spent there a couple of weeks ago when we had lots of relatives in town staying at Grove Isle, one Friday night, about 30 of us hung out at the fire pit area and we ate, drank and had a great time. All ages enjoyed it from my parents and aunts and uncles down to my younger cousins and all of us in between.

I'm not sure how I feel about this, as there is a group of neighbors who would like to stop the demolition of the hotel and the rise of the fourth condo building. Personally, I face this every day, literally. It's the thing I see out my window; the hotel/fire pit is the closest to me. I really would hate for more of the view to be blocked, as I am not crazy about the three buildings now, and the thought of all that construction to come isn't pleasant, but the owners can do what they want, can't they?

A legal opinion was drawn up regarding the plan saying it lacks merit. 

There is a website which will update you on the situation here: savegroveisle.wordpress.com/

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30 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a freaking shame. The average visitor and most residents can hardly ever get a glimpse of the water in the Grove. Out of Five entire miles of the Bayshore line we were blessed with, that most communities just didn't have. Blocked.

We messed it all up. Just go from the Circle in Gables, till the toll plaza in Biscayne. Walk, ride a bike, drive. See if you are lucky to catch a rare glimpse of a few feet of water.. Seminole ramp, perhaps.. Even in parks, it's extremely limited, except for a small piece at Alice Wainwright up North, a couple of small spots at Kennedy Park. Just drive around.. Good luck in seeing some water.

Do you think the thousands of visitors this weekend saw the Bay water or any boats for the Arts Show? Most of them didn't see a thing. Of course, they promised "windows through the thick, sacred Mangroves at Peacock Park, or Kennedy Park,, that was years ago..

Now more Condos, more concrete, higher blocking Marinas, sure! The point is to block every single inch remaining of potential water views to maximize the profits of a few people. What a shame. No wonder people go elsewhere and spend their cash there, Biscayne, South Beach, etc, when they want to enjoy Water views.
CI

February 18, 2014 7:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's review the 1st comment. "Lucky to get a glimpse". I've lived here since 1965 & there are plenty of spots to [get a glimpse] of the bay all the way to the Gulf Stream, plus the barrier islands, boats, boarders, blue skies, jumping fish, manatees, palms, parks, trees, shopping, restaurants, movies & a haunted open air grave yard & more - - - - take a hike out of my/our community! The Grove has been & will be even better in the near future.

February 18, 2014 8:43 AM  
Blogger jwilloughby46 said...

Come on. People avoid the Grove because you can't see the water? Can you see the water on Brickell? In Wynwood? Those places seem to be attracting people just fine. Tom, you just wrote an article about how great it was to see The Grove crowded. The more people that live in the area, the more people that are around to frequent the shops, bars etc. The atmosphere becomes better, businesses realize you can make money here, and then people from around the county want to come here. Look at Brickell as an example of this. Dense urban population made it a hot spot. I sware I think a vast majority of "activists" in this area just like to bitch about something. If the powers that be came out today and said "We're tearing out all the mangroves so we can have full ocean views" you'd have another group of nudniks complaining about the enviromental damage. Same with the building/construction. Now that they live here, they want to make it as hard as possible for others to get in.

February 18, 2014 8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really,, just (try to) walk, run, roller-skate, bike or drive through the 5 Miles the Grove once had as "Bayshore views", from Gables to Biscayne.

I'd suggest a helicopter as a far better option, if you want to see some water.

February 18, 2014 9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CI's only concern is the water view and blames all of the Grove's issues on the limited views. As mentioned, all those other areas of the county are thriving with zero water views.

February 18, 2014 9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe with 1 more building the island can sink and become an underwater park? More traffic, more danger for runners , bikers and walkers as those Grove Isle people never stop at that crosswalk. They own the road and have rights. Run people over ask questions later!

February 18, 2014 10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well,, not in the mood for silly personal discussions, I'm actually lucky to be able to bike/run right now, on this beautiful day from Peacock park, through the back streets that most people can't see or even know about, back of City Hall, Shake-A-Leg and the marinas (careful with the oily forklifts), Kennedy (say my prayers to the Sacred Mangroves) back of Vista, then Grove Isle, then back of Mercy Hospital, then finally off to Key Biscayne and Virginia Key with the REAL water views.
CI

February 18, 2014 10:33 AM  
Blogger jwilloughby46 said...

I'm sorry, but the comparisons Virginia Key are off base. Virginia Key is a beach, with nothing there. I'm sure the commenter would be happy to demolish everything (other than his house I'm sure) for pristine water views, but most people wouldn't. Key Biscayne is however a more apt comparison. Once you enter the Village of Key Biscayne, you don't see any water views from the street. In fact, I'd say you get more water views in the Grove than you do in Key Biscayne.

February 18, 2014 11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More water views in the Grove than in Key Biscayne? Planet Earth? Ok.. time to hit the road..

February 18, 2014 11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live near grove isle. For many years I have gone to the bar/restaurant there. The other night I walked over there to get a drink at the bar and the security gate wouldn't allow me to pass, saying only residents or hotel guests were allowed. When did that change? No wonder they are shutting it down.

February 18, 2014 11:46 AM  
Anonymous James W. said...

What part of the Village of Key Biscayne do you get water views? Because when I drive on the Key, from where the village starts until Bill Baggs, all I see is condos.

February 18, 2014 12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the development is simply not sustainable unless you want Coconut Grove to look like a New York slums

February 18, 2014 1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to know more about these secret backstreets.

February 18, 2014 1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Grove Isle redevelopment will be 65 units (replacing the 65 hotel rooms) not to exceed the 5 story height limit. The design will wrap along the island from the marina to where the pool is now. They will also rebuild the club, restaurant and pool area but it will be private to residents on Grove Isle only. The argument is that they are replacing existing units and are with the Miami 21 zoning regulations. It will; be argued that residents should be happy because it will make the island more secure given the elimination of the hotel, restaurant and club traffic.

February 18, 2014 2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grove Isle has always been one of Miami's nicest places to live. It is due to the fact that it stands alone in an island where everyones has a great view. The proposed project will completely block the eastern view for the 3rd building residents. The proposed tower will look completely out of place and turn the island into another brickell key. The nice thing of GI is its tropical feel and amenities such as a restaurant, hotel, spa and club house. When will the city stop issuing permits to build more million dollar condos to glut the market???

Bayshore drive and the bridge into GI only have 2 lanes. This is a mess waiting to happen. The city needs to take a stand and stop overdevelopment such as this. Save some of the Coconut Grove charm. Also, anything built in such a small space needs to conform to current zoning laws such as Miami 21.

GI residents which number close to 500 are extremely concerned about such a drastic change to their lifestyle. Many are horrified at the prospect of losing marketability and property value. This could not happen at a worse time.

February 18, 2014 10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the relationship between the hotel and the home owners? Does the hotel not need homeowner approval? From what I've heard GI as a whole has had financial problems for years.

February 19, 2014 8:49 AM  
Anonymous swlip said...

You know things have gotten silly around here when people call for "saving" a chunk of landfill which has a row of look-alike condo towers as its only distinguishing architectural feature. Granted, they make a useful navigation marker, but erecting another building alongside won't change that.

February 19, 2014 11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The number of negative comments consistently against change, growth, etc, are really astounding. There is so many NIMBY's here it's really dizzying. The reason that Coconut Grove went downhill is not because of CocoWalk, or the water views, or a condo in Grove Isle, its because the rest of Miami has progressed, changed, and continued developing, while the Grove has been stuck in neutral. I say Yes to Regatta Park, yes to new shops, yes to new condos, yes to the fixing 27th Ave, yes to Sapient Nitro, yes to a new condo in Grove Isle. Lets get some change going, some new young blood, and lets see what the results are. THEN and ONLY THEN, can we look back and see if it was all worth it. One thing is for sure, if things stay the same, Coconut Grove is only going to fall further and further behind, shops will continue closing, etc.

February 19, 2014 2:20 PM  
Blogger Ferpar65 said...

I think you don't realize that the lack of commercial development is one of the factors that makes the Grove so unique. Most grove residents like to keep it that way. I'm sure Grove Isle residents , which is what this blog is about, want to keep their homes the way it is. What is wrong with that? This blog should not be about ocean views or the lack of commercial development in the Grove. It is, however, about the over construction of Miami, with no regards for zoning laws. Any space, regardless of size or location, is up for grabs when the developers are sitting on a bunch of cash. Did you forget the real estate bubble and the subsequent crash? Too much money and not enough law enforcement. 510 residents oppose this project. I think they should be heard.n

February 19, 2014 6:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The closing of {SHOPS} is not the barometer of success for the Grove, nor are those silly, ignorant comments about Sarnoff's
controlling influence. If anyone wants to feel the pulse of the Grove go to the Gifford Lane Art Stroll March 8, to feel our pulse where about 3,000 folks, families, their children & pets come together in a way that mimics any successful community, anywhere throughout the world.

February 19, 2014 7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before we get too excited about pouring concrete all over the Grove it may well be worth remembering that our noble predecessors - the Coconut Grove Civic Club, Bayshore Shore Homeowners Association and the Tropical Audubon Society (amongst many others) – fought against the original Grove Isle development and they successfully limited it. The original plan was for 2 huge forty-floor towers and proved extremely unpopular with most Grovites. This is now possibly being undone with an attempt to reverse the agreed restrictions.

A fourth tower on Grove Isle - with 55 (not 65) apartments priced upwards of $3 million each - is arguably not going to provide the population numbers that can fix the Coconut Grove shop viability issue. Moreover, is this income bracket really going to be interested in or supportive of the ‘alternative vibe’ of the Grove? So, the question is then is whether sufficient concrete (in more affordable projects) can be poured in the Grove to create population numbers and demographics that can compete with the other commercial centers in Miami – otherwise it's just a race to the bottom that could well undermine the ‘real’ essence of the Grove.

Or maybe it's just about raising more taxes for the city and as such is the real face of our nearby Coconut Republic.

February 19, 2014 8:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The previous post is true. Grove isle almost did not happen. Finally a compromise was reached and the island was allowed to develop as it stands today. I guess the new developer can build a similar structure to what is now the hotel, all under current zoning requirements.
All the groups mentioned before, along with GI association, city of Miami officials must weigh into this project.
By the way, if anyone feels the commercial part of the Grove is going downhill, I wish they would place blame where it belongs: bad economy. It is not because it is not big or modern enough. There is already plenty of those areas around Miami.

February 19, 2014 9:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Miami21's T5 Zoning does not apply to Grove Isle then let me know if the T3 Zoning also no longer applies to South Bayshore Drive... Let the land rush for towers begin...

February 20, 2014 10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:03 PM, where is your head? Who on this thread other than you mentioned His Holiness Marc Sarnoff? And why not question his public role? No one cares what he does behind his closed doors as long as it is purely private. He is obligated and required to answer and the public has a duty to question him especially due to his track record and resistance to transparency.

February 20, 2014 6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Build it and see if it works????
Is that like pass the bill so then you can read it? Lesson 1: learn from other people's (read government) mistakes. Lesson 2: its easy to gamble with other people's money. I doubt you live in Grove Isle or are a resident of the Grove for that matter.

February 20, 2014 10:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about this for wishful thinking and getting our public servants to spend their time and our money wisely. Do not issue one more condo permit Miami until all the streets have been repaired, pot holes fixed, lights working, garbage picked -up from the roads, drainage holes cleaned, etc. Our infrastructure is inadequate and in disrepair and somehow people seem to overlook all that and think there is nothing wrong because we are glutted with million dollar condos and European models.

This is not Dubai, our city is broke, we need fixing. Building million dollar condos everywhere won't fix our real problems.

February 20, 2014 10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My head is on my neck, which is attached to my shoulders, where did you think it was? And I didn't say or imply M. Sarnoff was previously mentioned. Rather I said stupid ignorant people like you simply mention negatives about other people, trees being cut down, condos being build or anything else that appears to be fashionable at the time and that you should be ignored; are we clear? Are we clear?

February 21, 2014 9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 9:45 you are clearly way over your head and that gives birth to extremism

February 21, 2014 1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

REVOLUTION. SOCIALISM.

THE PEOPLE OWN THE LAND.

ABOLISH AND NATIONALIZE PRIVATE PROPERTY.

March 14, 2014 11:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No way - not in our Coconut Republic!

March 18, 2014 2:32 PM  

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