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Thursday, August 10, 2006

How to bring money to downtown Grove

There are lots of comments on the post below.

Basically all I was trying to say is that tourism in the Grove is basically over. People prefer to be in South Beach and the new and growing downtown and design district and now I see where even Sunny Isles Beach and North Beach are attracting celebrities and in turn attracting tourists.

The Grove can attract tourists by actually being the Grove and not being a mall, which it sort of is trying to be, with all the chain stores and restaurants. You can find Johnny Rockets, the Gap, Cheesecake Factory and most of the other places in any mall.

If the Grove went back to being the Grove, that would be the actual attraction of the Grove. Tourists would appreciate the purity and realness of it. A real little thriving village like Greenwich Village in NYC for example.

People are talking about progress and saying the old Grove is gone, but it really isn't. The same charming buildings are basically here -- the same beautiful landscape, large shady trees, waterfront, etc. We just need some funky businesses, a sane parking situation and some originality. Let's get rid of the mall mentality.

Look at the Fresh Market, most days, it is so busy that it is hard to get parking. That is what the Grove needs, more places for locals. I know the Fresh Market is a chain, but it is a supermarket that is frequented by locals, not tourists. And it thrives on local dollars on a daily basis, not on the whims of tourists.

The locals are the ones who will bring business to downtown Grove. Not tourists.

For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing - only through social media. Not copying and pasting.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grapevine, forgive me for this long comment.

As an urban planning student, I think the Grove should take a more progressive approach to reinvigorating the neighborhood. I definitely agree that locals need to bring the business/investment into the Grove.

Three major components that make Greenwich Village what it is are 1) strong local business (not big box chain retail, which we agree is a problem in the Grove); 2) a critical mass of creative class residents (see Richard Florida - this is a strength for the Grove, too); 3) high density and a vibrant street scene (something the Grove lacks outside of the Cocowalk strip).

Although the Grove is considered "pedestrian friendly" for Miami/South Florida, it really has a lot of room for improvement. I guess what I'm alluding to is the Grove needs a bustling street scene beyond the Cocowalk strip, which means less cars (yes, less parking, too), higher density, and better/wider sidewalks on 27th, 32nd, Bird Ave, etc. while still maintaining the lush, tropical character that makes the Grove special.

This is going to mean embracing development (not 35 story buildings, but rows of 2-4 story townhouses and/or apartment buildings on a scale similar to the one going up on Bird & 27th).

I guess the bottom line is as long as everyone drives in the Grove (even with 2 metrorail stations), and the sidewalks are inadequate and the density doesn't increase, it’s going to miss the bus while neighborhoods like Midtown, North Beach, and even Little Havana are well on their way to becoming vibrant inner city neighborhoods.

North Beach and South Beach largely flourish because they have the high density that typically is complimented by a strong street scene. A lot of people don’t realize how much parking dictates a street scene. When people are relegated to a limited number of non-reserved parallel parking spaces, they’re going to be more likely to walk and use mass transit because parking is expensive and a major hassle. If the Grove were to be as dense as those neighborhoods (while maintaining it’s lush, tropical character) the local street scene would likely explode. It would be more plausible for everyone in the Grove to walk, bike, or take cabs to anywhere in Grove. A strong local street scene like this would create demand for street-level business that would be more locally sustainable. And, if it couldn’t be found in the Grove (which would be unlikely considering the resources here), it would be nothing to pick up the metrorail at the Grove or Douglas stations.

Problem is, this involves lifestyle changes for a lot of Groveites, and I certainly don’t get the feeling they are prepared for this. In fact, it seems like a lot of residents wish the Grove would retrofit itself more into a suburban country village than an inner city neighborhood 2 or 3 miles from a major downtown. In my opinion, if this progressive approach or similar is not embraced soon, developers will go elsewhere and this neighborhood’s incredible potential will not be realized.

August 10, 2006 8:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ryan needs to get a clue and fast.

August 11, 2006 10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The area with Cocowalk and such has just gotten very run-down and ugly. I don't like the sort of people that it attracts on the weekends.

I feel as though the Greenstreet area is still "our" part of the Grove, and for the most part "they" stay away from it.

August 11, 2006 12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey ben you say I need to get a clue, so why don't you share your urban planning expertise with the forum

August 11, 2006 9:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Gapevine hits the nail on the head.

The old Grove is still here. We welcome all friendly visitors, while still being a place where mostly locals socialize and conduct business.

August 16, 2006 8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem is that you can't have a (good) village with a mall for a town square.

ryan is right about the street scene, more people walking means more people shopping more people interacting with eachother. part of the problem is that besides downtown and the grove, metrorail doesn't go anywhere.

another problem is that, in the effort to keep it cozy and local here people decry any change in zoning from residential to commercial. the thrivingest and most interesting communities (in my opinion) are those that have an interspersed residential and commercial plan. I am not talking about more malls next to your house or stip malls, I am talking about say, a lone restaurant on Day Ave, where the owner would be free to pursue a different clientelle than the cocoawalk scene, or a bookstore, or a salon, or boutique, bakery, or any other locally owned and locally used place. Miami suffers because the businesses are so seperate from the residences.

August 16, 2006 7:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adam has excellent ideas and is a good thinker.

Please, more input from you.

August 18, 2006 11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a long time resident of the South Gables area, I tend to look at the Grove as my natural shopping area, not South Miami and definitely not Sunset.

What the Grove needs is more space, more streets, more extension and more "real" stores.

Cocowalk and Mayfair, for a time, fit the need. Now, it is no longer a pleasure to just stroll around, there are few stores, too many restaurants, not enough to justify going through the hassle of finding parking, etc.

I don't think there is an easy to articulate, overarching solution, but having the two malls in Commodore Plaza either closed or as a school, Cocowalk a giant foodcourt and Mayfair a shell of its own self doesn't help. Lincoln Road is definitely more rewarding.

August 24, 2006 8:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone else see a problem in the fact that Main Highway & McFarlane are essentially the alternate route to Rt. 1? Pedestrians take their lives in their hands when trying to cross the street- at crosswalks! And with continued development to the south, this problem is only going to get worse.

Can't say that I blame the commuters- it is a more lovely drive to downtown on Old Cutler, Ingraham, Main Highway and Bayshore and often faster than stoplight littered Rt. 1. But as a resident of the Grove I feel that it detracts from the quality of life for which we pay so dearly in property taxes if our streets are cluttered with commuters who couldn't care less about tourism in center Grove or locals attempting to cross the road.

If there were less traffic maybe then you would see more tourists and locals shopping in the Grove.....

September 08, 2006 3:57 PM  

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