Do you support the village?
Their argument, which makes sense, is that we're putting in all sorts of condos and multi-unit dwellings on one plat of land because people want to live in Coconut Grove, yet they don't spend any money here and support the village. They may eat at the restaurants, but when it comes to retail, they don't spend a dime. These store owners know because they ask people where they are from, and most are not from the Grove.
One owner told me that in South Miami, maybe 90% of the shoppers are from South Miami; but he says, not at Sunset Place, which is basically the same as CocoWalk. On the south side of Sunset Drive, many of those stores have been there for years and the store owners know their customers by name. It's not a tourist destination as maybe Sunset Place is, and the owners on Sunset Drive and south, rely on the neighbors to support them.
Also, opening up the Coconut Grove Playhouse again was on the list, but that doesn't seem to be happening at this point. The playhouse did recently receive some sort of historical designation, but that and $5 will get you a cup of coffee at Panther.
I have to admit that on Gallery Walk night or even at the Village Council meeting the other night, it was the same people at each one. I like seeing people I know, but it would be so nice if new faces showed up for something. Just like a few years ago, when we had events in the Grove, each committee had the same people on all of them, many of us would walk from one meeting to the next, the same people, running all the committees. We would walk from a Bedrace meeting at the Bookstore to the Mayfair next door, to meet about July 4th, then maybe traipse over to the Glass House for a Merchants Meeting, and so on.
I find it interesting that so many people want to move and live here but they don't support the village. Why? Maybe a little charm and atmosphere will do the trick. As if Coconut Grove wasn't charming enough.
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