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Thursday, May 01, 2014

More talk, no action on Coconut Grove Playhouse

The next Coconut Grove Playhouse meeting is at City Hall (3500 Pan American Drive) on Friday, May 2 from 6 to 8 pm.

This is the second of three meetings set up to hear from locals on their take on the future of the playhouse. Facility, Use and Access will be discussed.


Francisco Garcia from the City of Miami Zoning Department and Art Noriega from the Miami Parking Authority will be present to assist in the presentation. It's quite a dynamic when the Parking Authority is involved in what should be an artistic endeavor. But as it always is, it's all about business.

I don't know of anyone, except the developers, who doesn't want the place renovated and kept as close as possible to the way it has always been. The majority of people I've spoken with don't want anything else built there, no malls, no condos, no garages, etc. I still can't understand the purpose of these meetings other than to just go through the motions.

The playhouse is a serious economic engine for Coconut Grove, it brings a lot of business. The sooner it reopens the better. If they are going to knock down the structure then they should announce it and deal with the consequences, these non-ending meetings serve no purpose.

Javier Gonzalez, head of the Village Council, who is sponsoring the meeting on Friday, says the Village Council has no position on this. I don't quite understand that as I think it's important to know what the community groups feel about the issue. 


Stephen Licata, owner of Palm Produce and one of the heads of the Merchants Group says, "I would like the  Playhouse to be restored. There was a
published article which included renderings  last year, a seating venue of no less 500 seats as to remain profitable and maybe additional building with a museum or possibly a place for cabaret or dinner theater in front of the needed parking garage to camouflage the structure. There is no need for any additional retail or mixed use office space, what we do need is a venue to draw traffic and then have it filter through the Grove to help sustain the existing tenants."


In the end really, it all comes down to those who control the playhouse. When does anyone ever listen to the public?

Let's hope the Coconut Grove Playhouse returns to what it once was, but with all sorts of money and developers involved, I'm fearful of the outcome.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Set a schedule to open it up ASAP, restoration companies can take care of that with a fraction of the $20 million in a short time. Get off your butts officials.here is a list of historic structure companies:
http://www.historicpreservation.com/com/loc/aaausa/contractors/general.html

May 01, 2014 11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The playhouse is a serious economic engine for Coconut Grove, it brings a lot of business."

Was it really? Didn't it close due to debt issues? If it was successful, why did this happen?

Just curious about its history and impact on the Grove is all.

May 01, 2014 2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 2:58 you have a point, a trolly garage on that location will create much needed jobs for the impoverished neighborhoods, and the workers fixing diesel engines can take their breaks in center Grove restaurants for a plate of escargot or something like that. The site will also attract hundreds of tourist a day.

May 01, 2014 4:58 PM  
Blogger Tony Scornavacca Jr. said...

Curious to why the Village Council is not pushing to keep the playhouse.

May 03, 2014 9:41 AM  

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