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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Playhouse update -- it's still a mess, that is all

The latest update regarding the playhouse is that they are promising movement again, but that never seems to happen.

According to Comm. Marc Sarnoff, who spoke at the Village of Center Grove meeting last night, there are squatters living inside the playhouse, he showed photos of the terrible condition the place is in, I'll try to get copies and post them here.

I did say last week that I felt a presence inside the playhouse, only I guess it isn't ghosts, it's the homeless taking up residence.

Sarnoff said that the current board, lead by Shelly Spivak, has not met for over three years, in fact, when he asked Shelly to come down to speak about the playhouse, her reply was something like, "You want me to drive all the way down from Broward for that?"

And that sums up the Shelly Spivak period of the Coconut Grove Playhouse in a nutshell.

The City tried putting liens and posted violations, that did not work, they tried being nice, that did not work, they tried offering to redo the parking lot through the BID, but that did not work, the current board will not budge. The BID's offer to redo the lot for $150,000 has been revoked now.

State Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera has put into law that the reverter clause that says the playhouse should revert back to the state if there are no productions there for three years. So the plan is now for the state to reclaim the playhouse and then the state is going to hand it over to a state university who will hand it to the county and then the county will hand it to the city. It sounds like a long process, but anything will be faster than all these years of the old girl just languishing there.

The county is only interested because $20.5 million is at stake, it's a grant from money from a bond that was passed in 2004.


According to Comm. Sarnoff, the Performing Arts Center is interested in taking over the Playhouse. Now all we need is for some movement in the right direction. Until then, the homeless squatters have the run of the place.

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