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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Expo Center has a lot to offer

Some people in town are getting quite rude about the waterfront project. Very rude in fact in emails and in person. There are a select few people who will profit from this and they are going to fight to the end.

I do have a question and I know the Expo Center is going, November 1 was the date planned to start demolition but in a perfect world, I would ask why is the Expo Center (shown above) being knocked down? The only reason we are being given is that it's because it blocks the water view. But isn't the proposed 4 story 200,000+ square feet garage going to do the same? And isn't the chrome and glass structure of retail and restaurants going to do the same?

The Expo Center is and could be a very big tourist attraction due to it's history. The Burn Notice crew made it into a working tv/movie studio. We have that right here in the Coconut Grove. A clean, money-making business. Movies, tv, videos all could be produced right here in the Grove at the working studio. I know that Regatta Park is taking it's place and that is part of the original plan.

Artifacts, is that the right word? From Burn Notice and other tv shows may be going to HistoryMiami to be put on display as a tribute to Miami's part in tv and movies. This would be an incredible museum for the Expo Center space, part of it anyway.

The Expo Center is squat and small, not so much the footprint, but the elevation. It fits in with the surroundings and has for over 50 years.

One interesting thing is that the Commissioner's office keeps bringing up The Fresh Market and how great and wonderful they are for saving the airplane hanger and making it into a supermarket. Well, that hangar is historic and it wasn't going anywhere, if it wasn't historic, it would have been gone long ago. So they aren't really kidding anyone.

If they cared about Coconut Grove history, they would leave the Expo Center and scrap the current waterfront mall plan and come up with something more waterfront friendly.

Apparently there is $2 million available to put in Regatta Park, so that's a good thing, at least when the Expo Center is gone, they will quickly move to put in the park and it won't just be an empty field of dirt.

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...

Out with the old in with the new........stop making it dificult

August 20, 2013 8:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First things first: I'm against the waterfront plan, against any of Sarnoff's schemes, and the Expo Center doesn't really bother me.

Can you go into a little more depth about why the Expo center is historic? From what I gather, it was a seaplane hanger, then it became the Dinner Key Auditorium, The Doors played there back in 1969, a basketball team played there for a season or two, then it was expanded, renamed to the Coconut Grove Convention Center / Expo Center, and Burn Notice was filmed there for several seasons. What else is there to it?

My only memories of the Expo center are of gun shows, motorcycle shows, and other exhibitions. Nothing remotely historic. I'm not being facetious, just genuinely interested.

August 20, 2013 9:30 AM  
Blogger Sledge said...

I disagree. That extremely ugly eye sore we call the expo center needs to go down. It completely blocks any water view almost the entire block. And have almost ZERO water views left, only a few feet by the Seminole Ramp. That's it. I oppose any other waterfront projects, markets or buildings.. Actually I say clear, or knock out the sacred few mangroves on Peacock Park , by the boardwalk only so people can see the bay, as it was for decades before. I know they are "beneficial, but don't worry, there are thousands of them.. the fishies will survive just fine.

August 20, 2013 10:16 AM  
Blogger F. said...

Dear Tom:

Before going with my opinion I want to thank you for having this blog and making this sort of "debate" regarding both the expo and the waterfront project. Their will always be rude people out there but it's important that we keep this debate as healthy as possible.

As an avid runner I am quite happy that they are demolishing the Expo and look forward to the proposed park. I am sure it will look much better than the abandoned Expo and the new proposed waterfront project will blend in better with the view of the park. I don't really care if the idea of the park has anything to do with the two new towers that are being built but I am sure going to enjoy that park and others will too.

I agree with the person that said the parking garage will NOT be a monster garage. In fact, I think it will probably look better than the current parking lot that sits there.

Then, going on to the waterfront project, I simply don't understand why people are so against the Grove progressing. I understand that you may not like the design of the project but Scotty's and that area in general need a revamp -desperately. People are complaining that their will be traffic issues with the new mall? I hope there are traffic issues of because of people coming into the Grove and that way businesses can strive. That should be the goal.

The waterfront project is still premature for us to be making such extreme evaluations and judgments. The truth of the matter is, that Miami is growing and the Grove will grow with it whether we like it or not.

My Best,


August 20, 2013 11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

20 years ago the city did want to knock down the airplane hangers. We had a group that organized under Bruce Reap. We all had t-shirts that said "Save our Legacy" or "Save our Heritage", I forget which. We all went to the commission meeting with the kids while Corrollo was mayor. We had to stand up to the commission and we won. There was talk of doing a market like in Seattle or Vancouver, but then it became "Fresh Market". The current people on the commission, with the possible exception of Regalado, had nothing to do with it. Sarnoff was no where around in those days and had nothing to do with it. Maybe he had something to do with "Fresh Market", but that's a chain and not really the vision we had. Doesn't matter though. We fought and we won and the airplane hangers live to see another day.

August 20, 2013 12:14 PM  
Blogger Sledge said...

I love the fresh Market since I've lived right across the street for many years. It's quite convenient for many people who come from all over Miami, and probably a huge source of income for other surrounding business, when FM shoppers hang around in our village.

Still, they may have built it closer to South Bayshore DR road, and not entirely blocking that small piece of water (compared to the hideous expo-center, which serves almost no purpose most of the year for most people, or benefit to the communityas the local grocery store does, plus it's about 5 times the size of the fresh market and an huge eye sore blocking a lot more water.

August 20, 2013 3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wondering where the people for the new Regatta park will be able to park their cars.Certainly they will not go into a pay parking garage.You know that any spots designated for the park will be used by people going to the new "mall" What a sham !!

August 20, 2013 4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sledge you are SPOT ON. more water views down with the convention center and more views from Peacock peacock park

August 20, 2013 5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bunch of cry babies in the Grove. Everyone just gets pissed off because it's something to get pissed off about. This happens with every single issue that goes on here. Bicker, bicker, bicker.... I am just waiting for the next issue to get upset about, hope it's juicy!

August 20, 2013 7:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous #1 out with the old? just how old are you? you'll see

August 20, 2013 8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dudes & dudettes,

Get it straight, the Expo Center has not been there for fifty years. It is not the auditorium where Jim Morrison dropped trou.

While I'm sanguine about 'Fresh Market', I do not live across the street, do not find it convenient, and have to go out of my way to purchase the one item I can not find at Publix or Winn Dixie. Otherwise, every thing is over-priced. (Am glad it works w/ your budget.)

Hope you listened to Joseph Cooper's "Tropical Currents" on WLRN today. Commissioner Marc Sarnoff crowed about how he added 14 acres of parkland to Coconut Grove. My simple question is: "Where?"

August 20, 2013 9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Appreciate the dialogue. Think it needs to be torn down. I have heard from good sources that it will take a few months to tear down as there is abestos, etc. It is not historical in any sense. Tear it down.

August 20, 2013 10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Three major fantastic parks exist between the toll to Key Biscayne and Peacock Park in the Grove all with a beautiful view of Biscayne Bay & all connected by a roadway and walkway, not to mention the view behind Mercy Hospital with an artificial reef in 6' of water. We have bars, restaurants, art galleries and numerous retail shops surrounded by roadways, beautiful neighborhoods with tree lined streets, numerous schools & I-95 leading to Canada to the North and the Florida Keys to the South. Frankly there's not much missing from this reality.

Think - - - leave the asphalt and leave the foundation and just remove the walls and roof, which wouldn't cost much if we sell this stuff as fill @ a modest profit and we could use local folks to help with the demolition with the City using City equipment to remove and haul the fill material. What could we Gravities do with such a space that would also provide profit, taxes and appeal to average folks to come and visit the Grove?

Something totally different. And if it doesn't work no money would have been wasted.

August 21, 2013 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a few - more than one but indefinitely small in number; "a few roses"; "a couple of roses"

Carlos can you pick out the most likely quantity after the following statements:

A few cats - five cats or one hundred cats
A few eggs - three eggs or fifty eggs
A few feet - seven feet or 390 feet

August 21, 2013 9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I don't agree with you on much I do think the mangroves should come down. I wonder though, do you realize that it's not an open Bay view? It's just a view of the barrier island. Better than the mangroves but still not a real view of Biscayne Bay.


August 21, 2013 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So it was some other Dinner Key Auditorium that all the stories refer to?

I did not go past the first five pages of responses on Google for the search "Jim Morrison Dinner Key Auditorium, but it seems like a lot of writers disagree with you.

I mean, I agree with you that Fresh Market is beyond the average persons budget and Sarnoff is a self aggrandizing twunt, but I think your Morrison comments are just plain wrong.
Though you're right about it not being 50 years ago. It was 1969 so that's 46 years ago.

August 21, 2013 10:00 AM  

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