They read them the riot act
|Photo Credit: Korey Davis Photography|
They spoke about the "contemporary retail component which is revitalizing the neighborhood." The panel was moderated by developers and Grove locals Carlos Rosso of The Related Group and David Martin of Terra Group.
Guests included David Martin, CEO and Owner, Terra Group; Pedro Martin, President and Owner, Terra Group; Carlos Rosso, President of Condominium Division, The Related Group; Patrick Campbell, Vice President at The Related Group; Justin Kennedy, Grass River Property; Peter Gardner, Pointe Group Advisors.
Panelists: Michael Feinstein, Büro Urban Workspaces; Maurizio Farinelli, Strada Restaurant; Sylvano Bignon, Green Street Cafe; Robert Griffin, The Griffin shoe boutique; Eduardo Del Rivero, Jaguar & Peacock Café; Manny Gonzalez, The Grove BID; Raymond Fort, Arquitectonica; Herman Bredemeier, H & H Jewels.
The interesting part seems to be a little meeting that occurred after the main meeting; where the public was not privy to the conversation; at this meeting, the big boys slapped down the PointeGroup who have turned out to be the town bullies. They called them out for their arrogance, their fear mongering and their ineptness, which includes not doing anything to enhance Coconut Grove, the complete opposite of their statement of providing "contemporary retail." As of yet the PointeGroup, has not done anything. One friend joked that all they have done is paint a fence blue (behind Bombay Darbar). They have thrown out most of the tenants or raised the rents so high that people are fleeing (including Bombay Darbar, who was prepared to leave the Grove, but luckily they found a space on Florida Avenue), some of these businesses that are fleeing, have been fixtures in Coconut Grove for years. And the main eyesore is the empty Johnny Rockets location in the center of town.
The plan seems to be to wait out the Smoothie King lease and then make it one large space for a restaurant. The nail salon has already made plans to move to CocoWalk, across the street. You need to have a minimum of 4000 square feet for a beer and liquor license and the current Johnny Rockets location is just 1000 square feet. The question is, if they had planned this large space for the leases to run out, why did they throw out Johnny Rockets, who could have still been operating on that corner? And what about the former Goose location and the large former Guess store location?
Now to add insult to injury, the round table has asked that a bunch of businesses be found to fill in the vacated storefronts as pop-up stores. If they needed businesses to fill the storefronts, they had stores that were there and part of the community. They should not have had them thrown out including art galleries. Incompetence at its best. That should be their motto.
I see the Center Grove turning into the Village West where nothing has happened regarding the large multi-use complex that was in the works for years. The land is now up for sale for $30 million - those six blocks on Grand Avenue, where big plans were promised.
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