Changes at CocoWalk
What's shocking to me is that I am usually the one who doesn't like change around here. But in this case, it seems that people are fed up with too many changes in Coconut Grove.
As for this CocoWalk project, I think after all the high rises and tree killings and proliferation of over-development in the neighborhoods, I think I may just be shell shocked and past the point of fighting these new projects. After all, when CocoWalk and Mayfair went up years ago, many felt, and still do, that that was the end of the Grove. But since we don't own the properties, what can we do?
I see the CocoWalk renovation as just that; a renovation. I do find it interesting that restaurants have taken over Coconut Grove and retail has taken a back seat and it's almost as if everything being done now is geared toward the restaurants. It's always been said that we don't have the office workers here to support restaurants. Well, we do now. You may not realize that Mayfair is mostly offices now, gone are the days of retail there and CocoWalk is now doing the same, only maybe in a more visible way. A friend told me 10 years ago, "A man cannot buy a pair of dress pants in the Grove."
Those new condos going up in the Coconut Grove Bank lot are beautiful, but the skyline looks like it's marred for good when you look up Grand Avenue from the west. It's just not the same anymore.
I was approached by many people during the Gifford Lane Art Stroll, all attacking the new CocoWalk office building. They say it doesn't fit in with the look of the village. But what is the look of the village? There really is no set style, is there?
But do we need all these offices? Do we need all these condos? Do we need all these changes? I can't help but think that if there was no money in it, none of it would be done. But I think I am just numb to the fact that the Grove is on a fast path to I don't know what, and it's almost a case of resigning to that fact because what else can we do? The bohemian feel is gone. While the bones are left, the spirit seems to be gone.
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