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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Grove merchants need to stand up and fight

I do wish the Center Grove business owners were as much concerned about the Grove Harbour Mall as they are about where and when the Bed Race moves.  It seems that when something important comes up, they relay on activists to step in and do the job for them. 

The Center Grove is the business and entertainment district. It should remain so. The waterfront should be something else, it should be open to the public and have water-related businesses. A few restaurants (not chrome and glass) and some water-related businesses (boating stores, kayak rentals, etc.)

We're going from quaint shrimp boats and Scotty's Landing to a mall! Think about it guys.

The whole waterfront project should fit inside the footprint of Scotty's and the Charthouse, with no chrome and glass and no connections or interior spaces connecting the two. The waterfront should remain a rustic, working waterfront. This is what will draw locals and tourists just as much as a chrome and glass mall.

Once the waterfront is gone, that's it guys. No more going back.

The interesting thing about all this is that the Center Grove has a lot of empty space. CocoWalk has plenty of space. Have the Center Grove landlords thought about reassessing their rental prices? All these empty spaces would be full if the rent was reasonable. 

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very true Tom, you are on point. We do not need what the plan calls for. We need same foot print more water views and business that will attract a multitude of people not just a select few. With Chart house and scotty it is a balance. Sophisticated or laid back Grove atmosphere

August 21, 2013 12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would we fight back i know i speak for the rest of us when i say we cant wait for change.and if it doesnt get better here in the center we will move to the new mall

August 21, 2013 1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So true my friend built it an they will come..these old people dont want traffic and noise.cocowalk is a mall like it or not it was built to bring had it at one time.lots of it. untill these old people came in an ran the big clubs and chains out.if you dont like noise MOVE!!!!!!!!!!!! we need lots of traffic here and buisiness THE MORE THE MERRIER

August 21, 2013 2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree! The new waterfront project is great!

August 21, 2013 3:06 PM  
Blogger Sledge said...

"Once the waterfront is gone, that's it guys. No more going back."

Well, the so-called "Waterfront" has been gone for many years. Except for a few feet at the boat ramp.

Let me be clear. I've been running, cycling, walking the Grove for almost 10 years, living right in the middle. I've been an activist with many local groups, got tired of that..

What I mean by "Water views" is that when regular folks, residents or visitors walk by our sidewalks, or drive by, or ride a bike around, they do not see ANY WATER.

It's all blocked by private property or buildings and businesses.

Try it.

Go on foot from the Circle to Key Biscayne,Main Hwy, Douglas, S. Bayshore drive, etc, or try it on a on a bike. You can even try the so called "EdgeWater" road.. Bring some binoculars or a boat.. A helicopter might also help to see some water around here.. or a kayak, they go for 15$ on a couple of rental places here.

That's 5 miles, precisely, that we used to have of "Bayside" or "Waterviews" in Coconut Grove. GONE.

You won't see ANY water, unless you go into the parks, deep inside and beyond the Mangroves, or if you go behind City Hall, or behind Shake a Leg, etc.

99% of the people don't even know that, or just don't do it, so they don't see the bay or any water.

Bringing down that hideous and largely useless expo center, trimming the mangroves and preserving the few FEET of real water sights should be a top priority.

Coral Gables, Pinecrest, the Doral,etc, etc, they don't have any water or bayside, we are priviledge to have 5 miles by the bay, but we completely blocked them and messed it all up.

I suspect business and tourism would be a LOT better if regular people walking by could enjoy sunrises and sunsets and catch some glimpses of the water, the boats and scenes hiding behind all those businesses and buildings.

Carlos Iglesia.

August 21, 2013 6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would guess most people that are for the waterfront project don't actually live in the Grove and they certainly don't understand what it's about. If you don't like the eccentric, local feel then just stay away. Go to Dadeland Mall, don't try to plop Dadeland Mall in my neighborhood.

August 21, 2013 10:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Post Carlos. It is all about a balance bringing in people, get water views that are priceless unless you pay over 700,000 for an apartment.Peacok park is the best example clean out the mangroves and all that walk drive or play at the park and evedn from cocowalk can see the beausitul view.

August 22, 2013 7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No. No you don't. You do not speak for me. You do not speak for anyone that I know. You don't speak for anyone but yourself unless you are willing to print your name and the name of your business and the other businesses that you say agree with you.
I would appreciate if you would do this because I would like to boycott you and your fellows who would gladly destroy the Grove by making it one long drive-thru mall at the bottom of a valley of high rises.

Where is the short circuit in the brains of these people that are arguing that building yet another mall is what is needed in the Grove when so many storefronts are empty? How can anyone seriously argue that when we have so many empty spaces that the answer is to build even more spaces? And three blocks away from our central business district at that.

We were told that Mayfair was "The Answer".
We were told Cocowalk was "The Answer"
We were told the Ritz-Carlton was "The Answer"
We were told that the Sonesta was "The Answer"
Unfortunately all that has happened is that we finally found out what the question was. The question was "How can the developers and the polititians charged with the stewardship of this public land make the most personal profit".

August 22, 2013 9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carlos, after the expo center is torn down, you still won't have a nice view of the water. For one thing, that parking lot and dock master's office is in the way. Those will need to be bulldozed. Once those are gone, the dreaded boats will be in the way. The owners will have to move them before they get impounded and sold at auction. Once the boats are gone, we're still left with the old Pan Am terminal building. Might be able to keep that around for a bit, at least until its time to disconnect Dinner Key from the mainland. You know, restoring it back to its natural state. Only then will the original water views in that area be back! We'll go from a few feet of water views to a few MORE feet!

Also, do we really want people who drive by looking out at the water? Drivers are busy enough operating their vehicles, putting on make up, eating, drinking coffee, texting, and reading. Everyone is already so busy enough behind the wheel, giving them something else to worry about is just cruel!

August 22, 2013 9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Build it and they will come? You need to look up New South China Mall.

As one of the old people that you so vehemently hate I have to say I've seen your type here before and your attitude is exactly why the Grove is in the state it's in. An attitude of "We're going to radically change the status quo and if you don't like it, gtfo". Then, as you watch the tumbleweed blow by and wonder where everybody went, you cast about for someone to blame.

Now I know us old people get confused sometimes and our memory ain't what it used to be but I don't remember how we caused the downfall of business in the Grove. Help me out and tell me how we stopped people from coming here. I don't recall any protest lines in front of Planet Hollywood or Dan Marinos. I don't think we formed any picket lines in front of Tu Tu Tangos or any of the different clubs that tried to start up in the old Masonic Temple on McFarlane. We certainly had nothing to do with the closing of Sharky's or The Cosmic Connection or Fudruckers or The Knife or any of the dozens of other failed ventures in the Grove.

If you can give me some examples of how the old people destroyed business in the Grove I'd be more than willing to listen. However, I thInk the real reason for so many failures here is due to a lack of imagination in the types of businesses that open up here and a general attitude that as long as your shop is in the Grove it's going to make money.

Speaking of imagination, we have a chance to do something beautiful and unique with our waterfront. We have a chance to build something truly world class in a location unique to Miami, in a location on Biscayne Bay, unique in the world. What is done here will be here for the next 50 years!!!!
And the only idea that anyone will consider is another mall. :/

August 22, 2013 10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ell it started when you didnt want people cruising thru the grove and started blocking traffic on weekends.then you kicked out the clubs in the the clubs in the mayfair like wet willies and iquana cantina.then started raising rates nobody could afford .thats just the beggining.dont get me started and for you info im 50 and ashamed at what my fellow older politicians and management have done to this place that was onces full of youth.all because they have gotten older and cant stand the noise and younger makes me sick and i hope this mall is built and full of youth.and that all the store owners move shop there.

August 22, 2013 12:42 PM  
Blogger Sledge said...

Anon @9.39.

It's quite simple: we have no Bayside water to look at, unless you go behind buildings or deep into parks, which 95% of the people don't do.

Again, walk, ride a bike or drive the 5 miles Coconut Grove used to have as "WaterFront" with amazing views of the Bay, the boats, Islands and all. You'll see no water, just building and businesses.

I go into Kennedy Park, Alice W. Park, and Peacock when I run or walk, because I know my way around, which most people don't. I go behind Shake a Leg, the Market etc to Peacock Park behind the scenes, almost every day. And I hardly every ever see ANYONE enjoying the water views there.

Cyclists and runners actually end up in Key Biscayne, after the Toll Plaza, that's where you can SEE some water, and get the awesome views. That's what we have to do.

And yes people driving should also catch a glimpse of the bay and the water and boats, as they do safely every day for decades on most cities Worldwide that have the rare privilege of being by the Water.

It's all about profit and money for a few interested parties and politicians. Build more buildings, where ever, block the water, as long as you make $$$$$#$.

The hell with the majority of residents and visitors, tourists and all, who won't enjoy any views..


August 22, 2013 12:52 PM  
Blogger Sledge said...

Oh and Gor Forbid they trim down or just clear off a dozen of sacred, (ugly too if you ask me) mangroves, by the invisible boardwalk on Peacock Park and a couple other places. To see the Bay, just a few. There are thousands of them all around.

They cleared the water a bit in a couple of places at Kennedy park, largely because they finally took out the non-indigenous, detrimental, invasive Seaside Mahoes, a plague I've been fighting against for many years..

Plus they got rid of most Australian Pines, another imported pest, replacing them with nice shade trees and opening some water views. Go check it, they are finally doing a good job on that park.


August 22, 2013 12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

in 10-15 years it won't much matter with the sea level rise. By then, all your tax dollars will go to building levees, and we will be under water just like Nahlins.

August 22, 2013 3:14 PM  
Anonymous Robby Robb said...

If I may recuse myself from the Anonymous v. Anonymous debate and comment on the original text:

How sure are we that the Center Grove business owners are even fully aware of the real scope and intent of the plan? Even a year after this tussle started, I find myself personally speaking to several who have mistaken, incomplete, or outdated notions of what's going on. And even more troubling are the number of visiting patrons to our local establishments who believe that Scotty's and Chart House are already closed down.
Maybe it's less a matter of apathy than of getting the information out.

August 22, 2013 3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do all the older Grovites hate change?! This place is dying! You have to change with the times. Scotty's is a DUMP!!! And its not like anyone "Hangs" out at that water front. Plus the rent is way too high for anyone to bring their business here. So, if no mall, what is the solution to bringing business to the Grove?

September 03, 2013 11:58 AM  

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