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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Clearing up the Glass House issue

 I spoke with Ron Nelson, Commissioner Sarnoff's chief of staff, today about the Glass House.

I was told that the Gymagination program  guys were told to move their mats and other items from a common area but other than that, they are not losing space. Ron's office is trying to find them storage for the items. Mike Simpson and Stayc Sharrow Simpson showed up at the Commissioner's office yesterday to discuss the issue. I joked with Ron that they were there to "eye the office," since Mike is running for the Commissioner's District 2 seat.

The Eating House and the community center are splitting utilities in the Glass House. Each side will have their own air conditioning and electricity. There is a small office between the two sides which most likely will be home to the second air handler since now there will be two. 

The entire building is 3885 square feet, The Eating House has less than 50% of that with 1680 square feet. The community center has the larger area of the building. 

Now this is interesting - the restrooms are common area to both businesses. They were redone and made ADA accessible and there is a way to enter from either side so that occupants don't interfere with the children on the one side. This may be some of the complaints from the Simpson's about losing space, but the bathroom is still theirs, they will be sharing it.

Ron told me that there is no property management company or sublease. The lease is directly with the city and the restaurant.

As for the basketball court and soccer fields. They are open all summer, because school is out and St. Stephen's is not using them during the day. That is where some of us differ as I don't care for the idea of the school having any part of the park at any time. But there are those who feel that it is ok. But as of now, the courts and fields are open all day for summer, they are locked at night. And when school starts next month, the areas will be used by the school at certain times and open to the public the rest of the time.

There are those who feel that the Glass House should not have a restaurant in any part of it and that the City sold out to development. They feel that nothing in the park should be private business or locked up.

Kevin Kirwin, Director of Miami Parks and Recreation responded:

"The program that his wife is operating on a temporary park use permit is one of the many programs that are being offered at the Peacock Park Community Center. To be clear, there have been no impacts to the programs at this park and quite the contrary – the park has become an activated place for public enjoyment and is now being used more than ever. The improvements being made are to enhance access to this facility and all contracts for the facility are being adhered to. The City of Miami owns and operates the entire facility and there is a lease that is compliant with the terms of the RFP for the restaurant portion of the Glass House, there is no third party involved, period.  I would be happy to meet and listen to them regarding to the access to storage and any other questions that they may have."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps the Eating House will serve crow with a side of bitter grape sauce and name it after Tom...

July 29, 2015 7:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It appears Mike Simpson should learn how to read a lease and a RFP before he sends out mass E-mails? It might have been a Sarnoff scam to give the park space away to his campaign contributors but there is no excuse for Mike not reading the lease.

July 30, 2015 1:13 AM  
Blogger Stayc Simpson said...

Hi Everyone!

I am Stayc Sharrow Simpson, owner of Gymagination, which offers gymnastics and Kindermusik programs for children ages 0-12 years at Peacock Park.

I am overwhelmed by the amount of support and assistance I was able to get for my concern of losing space to store our gymnastics equipment and musical instruments, but I can assure you that this is being resolved with the assistance of Ron Nelson and the City of Miami.

It had been a dream of mine for years to have a gymnastics program in the Grove and the Glass House was my dream come true. I spent several thousands of dollars on gymnastics equipment for this program and trained staff and spent money on advertising to grow a recreation program at Peacock Park. I am very proud of that. When I heard we were losing the space we were storing the equipment in, I was besides myself. I asked Mike Simpson, my husband to help. He immediately sent out an email asking for anyone that could help with understanding the lease and RFP. While I went and spoke to the Peacock Park Director, the BID office and Commisnioner Sarnoff's office to come up with an alternative for storage, in the event that the storage space I was using, was indeed meant for another use.

I was heard and offered assistance within 24 hours of my inquiries. As it was explained to me, my current storage area will now be a public bathroom entrance, which will improve programming at Peacock Park. I am totally for that. Again, Ron Nelson and the City of Miami are working for a solutions to the storage issues for the Recreation program. I truly appreciate everyone pulling together to help me, especially since I am not an attorney or realtor. I don't know what to look for in a lease or RFP. But I reached out to those who could help. I receive an amazing outpouring showing that the Grove can work together.

I teach young minds, love being an educator and love bringing my magic to the Grove. Gymagination is not leaving the Glass House or Peacock Park. I just needed help, quickly. August 17 is only 2 weeks away. I'm getting that help.

Thank you to everyone involved for helping me continue to serve City of Miami families, especially the Grove.

July 30, 2015 7:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear every reader:

Do not ever enter into any contract, including a commercial lease, without consulting an attorney - no a realtor does not suffice.

It's a lot cheaper to buy an hour of a lawyer's time now, than several month's worth later.

July 30, 2015 3:42 PM  
Blogger J. Kay said...

I agree that the basketball courts should never be used exclusively by the school. Public property should be public, period. There is also an issue with the basketball court gates being locked even when the school is closed or after school hours or on weekends. The court shouldn't ever be under lock and key but, assuming it must be, it should at least be open when it is supposed to be. The people who run the school should at least be responsible for some upkeep on the court if they are able to exclude the public during school hours. I have replaced more nets and fixed the sagging rims on many occasions and am still excluded during school hours despite the school doing zero maintenance. It is a horrible organization, in my honest opinion.

July 31, 2015 11:32 AM  
Anonymous Allen Pertuz said...

Yeah, I'm sure plenty of St. Stephen's students are slam dunking the basket when they take a shot. Your comment is ridiculous.

August 01, 2015 6:43 PM  

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