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Thursday, March 02, 2017

New CocoWalk introduced today

The plans were disclosed today at a BID board meeting held at the Mayfair Hotel, for the "new" CocoWalk and it's all about offices. Not much retail. 

73,000 square feet of office space is planned for the Center of Coconut Grove. Four stories of office space will top the ground floor of retail and 250 parking spaces will be added. The plans look like the Virginia Street side of the complex is where this is all happening. It's sleek, modern and there's lots of chrome and glass. This is Phase I. Phase II will be the other side of CocoWalk, where The Gap is now. That will consist of the retail portion of the project. Those plans will be revealed soon.

The project, called One CocoWalk, owned by Federal Realty Investment Trust, Grass River Property and Comras Company is planned to be completed by the end of 2019 with work starting early 2018. For good or bad, that area of town will be down for a year or so and it will be a mess, but in the end, this new project will rise.

Office space is also being added to the Oak Street garage a couple of blocks away. I found it odd that a reporter contacted me a few weeks ago asking me about both projects. She wanted to know how they are inter-related and how they would connect. A sky bridge? I don't know what she was referring to or if she knows the layout of the Grove, but maybe she knows something I don't.

I do like that the CocoWalk  job is low-rise, being only five stories high. That seems to suit the Center Grove, it's not too overbearing.


There's more in the Herald story here.

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15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sad :(

March 02, 2017 8:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't disagree with you more. This is the very HEART of Coconut Grove. The same space that Sandy's Skates occupied so many years ago. This proposal to put in a 5 story glass office building in the center of the village demonstrates a complete lack of understanding as to what makes our community great. The village ambience that we love will be destroyed.

March 02, 2017 10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This will keep the tourists away.

March 03, 2017 6:54 AM  
Blogger Bruce said...

Don't you just love artists renderings! Makes that section of Grand Ave look about 50 yards wide, with an itsy bitsy little office building across the street. All light and airy and blue sky...

March 03, 2017 7:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh how depressing! All that modern glass reflecting the sun instead of the lovely fountain and winding stairs and open-air with trees to greet everyone. At the very LEAST add some curves, add a drop-off driveway in front off the road, and keep a fountain! Make it eye-friendly. It's not just a building down Oak Street where there are not that many tourists and hang-out areas! It is the CENTER of Coconut Grove. That rendering could not be less inviting. Talk about ruining the Grove. Did the BID have any objections? Surely! Can it go back to the drawing table? Is this a done deal? It completely does nothing to help the lifestyle in the Grove. If anything, it diminishes it! And what about the theater -- that will be wiped out? Ouch! Please consider some sort of open air courtyard as the entrance off of Grand. And make it funky, not stark and contemporary. Get a new architect. Please.

March 03, 2017 8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the reporter asked you about the two different offices connecting - I don't think she meant it literally. I think she was probably referring to the fact that these are the first office buildings in the Grove since 1989. But who knows?

March 03, 2017 8:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, this is not what the Grove is, this is developers cashing out on the new trend of the Mayfair and having long term leases with companies at the expense of history and what makes the Grove such a special place for so many generations. I am all for the remodel but not for an eye sore of glass building. They need to have more curves in the design and I do hope they add more retail space to track new business (Local mom and pops shops, gallerias..)

March 03, 2017 8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are they going to widen Grand Ave? And the left side on this picture looks pretty much like it looks now, so why are they only re-doing one side?

March 03, 2017 3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If this goes through, it makes me very happy that we just sold our house in Pinecrest. This type of building will ruin the atmosphere of the Grove.

I am really surprised that you were so benign in your comments. This is the kind of thing that usually has you madder than hell. This building does not fit in with the style of the rest of the downtown area at all.

This is a terrible disappointment.

March 03, 2017 8:44 PM  
Blogger Moon Dancer Tayana 55 said...

The vibrancy of the grove is directly dependent on the retail, quaint unique restaurants and theaters. Making this an office dominated area creates a vacuume on weekends and evenings the eventually lead to economic decline. Just look at other cities with office dominated inner cities. They are desolate on evenings and weekends. You are destroying the spirit of Coconut Grove.
Adding more office space and parking will also create even more of a traffic gridlock on Main Street, Mcfarlane, Bayshore and Grand.
Say NO to more office space and YES to the restoration and preservation of the historic Coconut Grove theater.

March 04, 2017 3:04 AM  
Anonymous swlip said...

I disagree with many of the above comments. The hard truth is that the center Grove cannot continue to rely on being a destination for shopping and dining. The reasons are many, but among them are the lack of adequate parking, traffic (getting in and out of the Grove from other parts of town is an unpleasant hassle), sky-high rents for restaurant and retails space, and competition from other neighborhoods such as Wynwood and Brickell.

Those other neighborhoods have also done a better job of focusing on their target markets - Wynwood on the young and hip, Brickell and Merrick Park on wealthy Latin Americans, etc. The Grove can't hope to peel away many visitors from those target markets, but it also hasn't succeeded in honing its own message (how about "Key West North"?). The result is foreseeable: Fewer and fewer businesses in the Grove village will have any staying power because the center Grove's business model is no longer sustainable.

Economic reality points in one logical direction: growing the construction of mixed-use development projects. Mixed use should bring a more sustainable balance to potential users of restaurants and retail space. Hopefully, this will give those establishments more long-term staying power, as they won't be as reliant on attracting customers from outside the area.

March 04, 2017 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Tom Boyce said...

There are probably as many reasons that people live in the Grove as there are people living in the Grove.

We chose it as our home in Miami for its waterfront and sailing access, green canopy, absence of highrise towers and condo canyons found elsewhere. A major factor for us was the walkable nature of the "village" with offices, a few shops, and good restaurants.

Changes to the Grove that make it a more complete walkable community, like grocery stores, drug stores, and other services where we don't have to get in our cars makes it better.

Since the Grove hasn't been a viable tourist destination for years, and according to Grove residents who have lived here longer than my 18 years, it may never really have been, nor did they want it to be, I see a low-rise office building replacing a failed mall as something that makes living and working in Miami without a car a good thing. My wife does hope we won't lose our movie theater though.

As to Architecture, there is no cohesive central Grove architecture, nor should there be one within the existing limitations of Zoning. If the "legacy" of the Grove is anything, it's that it's a place for individuals with disparate backgrounds, cultures and sense of expression.

March 04, 2017 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Bill Kunz said...

How sad. About once a quarter I think of moving away and this has just about sealed the deal. I've been in the grove since the sixties and just don't want to have my guts wrenched by greedy developers anymore. The good news is I can drop lines and sail away. The bad news is that those greedy rat bastards are everywhere.

March 04, 2017 10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was a traffic impact study done to assess whether all these cars will not create even more chaos entering and exiting the Grove during rush hour?

March 05, 2017 3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Grove's Village is no longer a real neighborhood, its been developed, gentrified and officed out of existence. Check out South Miami with all the shops, restaurants (open 6-7 days a week), unbroken sidewalks, bars, book shop that actually has the book your looking for, several bakeries, artisan donuts, whole foods and Publix, two shoe repair shops and three eyewear shops. Coconut Grove could learn a lot from South Miami.

March 07, 2017 9:36 PM  

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