We are being sealed in like a can of mixed nuts
One of the first hearings at Tuesday's meeting was about the property that Ransom Everglades purchased next door to their campus. It's great that they own the land now and want to keep it natural and undeveloped, but do they really? Neighbors were against the school expansion mostly because of traffic reasons, but again, they are going to do some work on the land, like adding parking lots and other school facilities, but as usual, the HEP board approved the expansion, ignoring neighbors complaints.
This happened with the Coconut Grove Playhouse, too. Dozens of neighbors stood up and I don't think any of them were in favor of the new plans, which basically show what one neighbor in the audience described as "a mixed use development with a theater inside" and if you look at this rendering by the developers, it's amazing that a $20.5 million renovation bond issue turned into a wall of buildings on Main Highway! The neighbors were given two minutes to speak, while two hours before that were given to the developers to give their presentation, their dog and pony show that they have been giving on the circuit for months now.
Look at this image. Disgraceful. Can you even find the Playhouse in this mess? There will be the garage and condo project next to the playhouse along with new buildings and new to the block will be one or two large office buildings, where those two failed restaurants are, next to Greenstreets. Ironically, those restaurants would not fail if the Playhouse was open, but rather than just restore the single Playhouse, they are making a big project out of it and the new office building(s) will almost be part of that project, making that one stretch of Main Highway a wall of buildings.
There is a hotel going in behind and above the Engle Building and there is talk of building up above the former Johnny Rockets/Taco location.
I saw a rendering of the Oak Street Garage that almost made me fall off my chair. That block looks like New York City after the work is done. The new condos at the Bank Building site across from the new office building that the garage will become makes that street a canyon of buildings.
Our little village is being overdeveloped. It will never be the same and it's all about greed. A handful of people have come into the village and decided to remake it, destroying all ambiance and feel that made Coconut Grove what it is.
There are rumors of a condo going in on the waterfront where the new "mall" thing is going in. But that may just be rumors.
Who is to blame for all this over-development? The City, the County? Commissioners? Who? We are living in a non-stop construction zone. There are more construction workers here than residents and it will go on for years. Quality of life in Coconut Grove is shot. Someone said that they are eclipsing the Grove's beauty and they are.
By the way, someone pointed out to me that Ransom received a bond approval from the City for almost $50 million for their expansion, which is for a private facility, and the playhouse received $20.5 million for renovation, which is a public facility.
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