It's gonna get ugly before it gets better
We are all looking forward to exciting changes in Coconut Grove. With new property owners, who knows what's coming next, but one thing that looks like it may please everyone is the plan to bring nice, new retail to the Center Grove. This should please those who want progress and those who feel they want the "old Grove" to stick around, it will almost be a return to the old Grove when and if the empty storefronts house bright, new shiny businesses. Remember when every storefront was operating and teeming with people? That could easily happen if new, fresh retailers move in.
One problem with progress, is the mess you have before and during; it's a long road sometimes to get to the final product. As more places are purchased, more businesses are being sent their walking papers and more places are boarded up. Well, they're not really boarded up, but they are brown papered up. Many people have been complaining about the brown paper, but what other solution is there? A closed, boarded up store is the same no matter what is in the windows.
People are getting nervous though. I am asked daily for my opinion by local business owners, but I keep saying nothing has been done yet, so what's to be nervous about? And therein lies the rub. Business owners have been telling me they have not seen one swatch of paint go up, not one nail driven, not even one "For Rent" sign is up. It's just stagnant at this point.
There must be a business plan, but we don't know what it is yet. So far the plan has been to get rid of current businesses, get rid of art, like the painted peacock, hassle the drum circle. Not quite sure how any of this makes sense. But I'm sure there is a method to their madness. It's almost like they want to wipe everything out and start from scratch but I'm not sure that's how it works in the real world.
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