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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Discussing real estate in Coconut Grove

Last month RCA Miami (the largest commercial real estate association in Florida) and the Miami Association of Realtors, along with the Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce, hosted a luncheon at Peacock Garden Cafe. It was called Coconut Grove Commercial and Residential Update. The event was sold out. It seems that many people have their eyes and dollars on the Grove and they plan on making changes. 

The fact that people need to get together to discuss development in a small village is quite scary. Realtors and investors were the interested parties here deciding the fate of Coconut Grove. I mentioned last week that a few people own most of the Center Grove.

Francisco Angulo, President of Coldwell Banker; State Representative Jose Javier Rodriguez of District 112; Peter C. Gardner President of PointeGroup Advisors a property management firm; and property owner and F. Antonio Puente Senior VP of Fairchild Partners involved in commercial real estate and the marina waterfront project. 

According to Angulo, the residential real estate market in Coconut Grove and the rest of Miami is booming due to a couple of factors, first, the huge infusion of international money pouring in due to instability in other parts of the world, secondly, the ridiculously low number of homes available for sale. Data shows number of properties available here has dropped by about two thirds compared to previous years. It is a seller's market, sellers are getting 97% of the asking price. Research shows Miami is the number one sought after destination for foreigners, Los Angeles takes second place. 

Gardner talked about his firm’s plans for the parcels they own in the area. They bought up quite a few locations in the Center Grove and have a plan for Village West, which has been in the works for years -- it's the six block area which is to become a mixed use development. He believes the downturn in Coconut Grove started when the playhouse closed which put a “big hole” in business activity, he now sees a lot of activity in the market and is confident a turnaround has been underway. Gardner defines himself as a very competitive guy so he thinks he can compete with neighboring South Miami, which has benefited greatly from Coconut Groves past malaise, he wants to bring the correct mix of residential, office and retail to PointeGroup’s new parcel, Florentine Plaza at 3444 Main Highway. Gardner and his team plan to redo the whole complex, building out into the parking lot that faces Grand Avenue, off of Fuller Street. The PointeGroup office is now in the former Fuddrucker's space on the top floor.

PointeGroup also owns the former Johnny Rockets location and that whole triangle, going out in either direction up to the former Guess store on Grand Avenue and down towards the New York pizza place, on McFarlane. I do know they are trying to find the right tenant for the Johnny Rocket's location. They do care what goes in there.

Puente talked about the Grove Key Marina/waterfront project (Grove Harbour). He explained that the marina, an Arquitectonica design, will start groundbreaking midyear and once finished major national retailers will be anchor tenants and below the parking area space will be offered to smaller tenants. Anchor tenants? Who? 

Commissioner Marc Sarnoff also spoke, he explained that now that Coconut Grove is the last area in his district to become revitalized he knows how to do it right since he has learned from the experiences and mistakes in other areas such as Downtown, Midtown and Brickell. He believes every time another major city raises taxes it benefits us since large firms would want to relocate to Miami. There are venture capital firms that want to invest and relocate here, one for instance that has a large number of employees with an average employee compensation of $80,000 per year. 

Sarnoff also talked about pricing for playhouse tickets, trying to come up with a figure that would be reasonable.  So it is nice to know that people are making plans for the new playhouse in realistic terms. He also mentioned that the parking space next to the playhouse should be turned into a parking garage. On Thursdays, it's the home of the Grove Green Market, otherwise, it's a small surface parking lot.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The big difference between South Miami and Coconut Grove is that South Miami has Mayor Philip Stoddard a progressive scholar and a PhD who just kicked FPL's butt and has turned his city into a place people and businesses love and here we have Marc Sarnoff Esq.

February 13, 2014 12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anchor tenant ? Sounds like a mall to me!! The duping begins!

February 13, 2014 1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All shopping centers have anchor tenants, why can't they?

February 13, 2014 3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope you enjoyed coconut grove while it lasted.

February 13, 2014 4:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

F.I.A.T., Latin for "Let it be Done". It's like a very, very, very large title wave; nightmarish where you're standing on a beach with this 200' ft. wave is about to break over your head; like trying to run in mudish/quicksand or around some tree with a tiger behind you; the Grove is/has changed, so adjust. Little things like for example, someone, county or city dredged out and about the Dinner Key Marine and placed granite rocks to ensure the depth of our Grove Marina so that mega yachts could come & go, turn around, so guess who's coming for supper? The rich & famous are about to invade us & although I'm a redneck I think rubbing elbows with these types could spell financial success to those who embrace this "REALITY".

February 13, 2014 8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

History repeating itself. They tore down part of the Grove for a mall called Mayfair. Burdines anchored, along with Borders. All failed, all gone. Then we got Cocowalk, which really took away many unique Grove establishments so we could have the Gap and Victoria Secret. Now another mall is in the works. When the South American money slows, who's going to support that place? Its all about who makes the money when the development is going on and screw the people that actually live here when the money dries up and empty storefront remain.

February 14, 2014 6:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wasn't one of the unique businesses torn down to make way for Cocowalk a laundrymat?

February 14, 2014 12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Numerous postings making reference to trees & the convention center being downed, the glass house, the Chart House, Scotties or the loss of numerous businesses, making ref to "The Old Grove" flavored with M. Sarnoff's name - - - - are made by folks who probably have no disposable cash on hand & are forced to set in front of their computers and infer that the people are always getting screwed. It's always bad to see hard working owners & their employees lose out, but that's been going on since recorded history & is quite normal. I don't feel screwed by common ordinary events nor do I know anyone who feels so.

February 14, 2014 2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The laudromat was on Oak. There was the I-Ching bookstore, a bike shop, a restaurant, etc. You could rent rollarskates and shop at the grocery store across the street. It was small town type of stuff back in those days. It was a functioning downtown and very cool. There was the Oak Feed, the Co-op, Pross Liquors, a drug store and free parking! If you think we're all better off with a Gap and a Victoria Secret,empty storefronts and expensive parking, then you got what you want! Expect more of the same in the new mall planned on our waterfront.

February 14, 2014 2:39 PM  

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