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Friday, August 01, 2014

Making the Grove into SoHo

Word is going around town that a guy named George is buying up a lot of the Center Grove and wants to turn it (mostly Commodore Plaza) into Elizabeth Street, which is in the SoHo area of New York City. Not sure if that's good or bad, I guess if he can keep the flavor of the neighborhood and not destroy any of the low scale buildings, it could be nice. But there are always plans and they all seem to be just talk.

The plans for the Village West, to remake a six block area, which were revealed in 2008, are still at a standstill. A Publix was supposed to be anchoring that mixed use development by now.  So far it all sits without even a shovel hitting the ground. The good news in that area is that the Coconut Grove Collaborative and their partners, the Theodore Roosevelt Gibson Memorial Fund, the Pinnacle Housing Group, and Miami-Dade College through the Mitchell Wolfson, Sr. Foundation are moving fast on the Gibson Plaza project. So far, the only actual major construction being done on that end of town.

The PointeGroup still has not given the Collaborative permission to return the Nassau Daddy peacock to it's roost at Douglas and Grand. This was a source of pride for the community. It meant something to everyone. It was a landmark. At present, they are demanding that the plaque that is left on the cement stand be removed. They want no trace of the Bahamian roots of that part of Coconut Grove it almost feels like.
J.S. Rashid, president of the Coconut Grove Collaborative showed his disgust in a recent email regarding the plaque and peacock: "You can go forward in removing the plaque on the base in which the Nassau Daddy Sculpture was formerly placed on our behalf and I thank you. That would complete the eradication of a beloved icon cherish by the historic residents of Coconut Grove’s historic Bahamian enclave. I am certain that your cohorts will be gleeful at the removal of this vestige of heritage as they continue their economic bullying of our neighborhood. It unfortunate that you were made complicit in this shameful insensitive act. I’m disgusted with their repulsive action."I  find it sad that the Goombay Festival moved from it's roots on Grand Avenue to Peacock Park this year. I think in a few years, all traces of Coconut Grove's roots in Village West will be gone. A shotgun house here and there may be left as relics of a time gone by. 

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that Grove West is being subject to gentrification; however, so was my hometown of Fort Pierce, Florida about 1970, but it was the African Americans, Blacks, Colored People who completely & thoroughly pushed about 95% of all whites out. And more recently there have been numerous movements of people in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Syria with immigrants from Africa & kids from Central America flooding into Europe & the U.S.. The entire Grove is prime property, time marches on, [ Grove Isle ] get on the band wagon sort of thing, i.e., when folks in the West Grove sell their properties they're getting top dollar and anyone who doesn't want to sell can stay. The City of Miami placed a lien on my home for $780,000.00, for nothing, so I filed a federal & state complaint [ no attorney's allowed ] and the City lost. I'm qualified to talk about grief, stress & sleepless nights. The human world is far from static and if the worse thing that happens is a bird being moved we're all in good shape. West Grove will remain as long as people in general have a desire to remain a majority of the decedent's from the Bahamas's who helped build Miami, Florida into the world class community that it is today with it's mixed citizenry. Jobie Steppe

August 01, 2014 1:53 PM  
Blogger Tony Scornavacca Jr. said...

Any changes to the apartment buildings on Grand Ave will be an improvement. Amazingly, they are in the same run down condition as they were 30 years ago. ... Which means that the property owner has no concern about the neighborhood.

August 01, 2014 3:12 PM  

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