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Monday, September 29, 2014

Regatta Park work ready to go out for bid

Expo Center being torn down in January. Photo by Bill Brothers
Regatta Park was discussed at the last Waterfront Implementation Committee meeting. The City's Capital Improvement Projects department deputy director Jeovanny Rodriquez gave the committee an update on the progress of the park work.

Committee members were concerned about the size of the boat launch area, claiming it was smaller than the Master Plan documents. There is a road that separates the launch area from the big lawn. They were also concerned about the soccer fields, but it turns out that the soccer fields won't be in that area, but they will be the ones in Peacock Park, next to St. Stephen's. So those are scheduled to finally be open to the public. 

The one large area at Regatta Park, which was thought to be a soccer field is actually an area where events will be held.

The current state of the park. Photo by Bill Brothers
The City Commission approved approximately $5 million available for the park construction, as well as 200 donated trees from tree permit development projects. 

If it seems as if the 12-acres site is at a standstill, it is. The Expo Center was demolished and the land was then determined to contain toxinsarsenic, chromium and benzopyrene - all known carcinogens - at levels above what county environmental regulators consider safe for human exposure. The ground water had been effected, too. That along with the rubble from the Expo Center has been removed  and the plan to build the park is going out to bid in the next few weeks, and then construction should begin by the end of the year. The Regatta Park plan will go before the Waterfront Advisory Board on October 14, and comments and concerns can also be addressed at that meeting, which is at City Hall at 6:30 pm.

The next Waterfront Implementation Committee meeting is Wednesday, October 8 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at City Hall in the staff room.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is exciting and in our backyard. The boat ramp, which I use about 3 times weekly is small backing up traffic at times onto Bayshore. What a great opportunity for our community. I'm positive our leaders and those concerned will do us right. There will be something for all interest parties. Jobie Steppe

September 29, 2014 8:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad that eye sore - the expo center is gone. I think the park will be great and I'm looking forward to it.

September 29, 2014 12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's about time

September 29, 2014 2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And to think, the original wooden structured Dinner Key Auditorium, site of Jim Morrison's infamous drop trou moment sat there on toxic soil all those years...must have contributed to his inspiration.

And our wonderful current city leadership was only being born, or recently immigrating when such an event occured.

Making the long established Seminole Boat Ramp,(how many really know the name?)smaller is not an enhancement for the boating community.


September 29, 2014 11:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an after thought to my previous comment, everything east of the western edge of Bayshore Drive is landfill. Go back a few decades and discover where the original shoreline was: see the stone bluff fronting Ransom-Everglades...go North & South of there, that is where Coconut Grove bordered. All that wonderfull flat land upon which Mercy Hospital and everything South,...to the bottom edge of where Peacock Park lies, is FILL! Would you like to wager how much of that soil is toxic by today's standards? Would you like to begin a buyout?


September 29, 2014 11:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Starting to look better. Sledge.

September 30, 2014 1:25 AM  
Anonymous swlip said...

My understanding was that the Seminole Boat Ramp would be eliminated and replaced by a sea wall. That would be a welcome change for those of use with boats on the mooring field or at Dinner Key Marina.

September 30, 2014 1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SWLIP - wrong. Ever try lifting your kayak up a seawall? We are a boating community in the Grove. When the Regatta comes filtering big money into our immediate community, where do they haul out the racing sailboats? Over a seawall? Boat ramp is critical. Just needs a face lift and repair for full utilization.

October 01, 2014 6:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Swlip, Your "understanding" may or may not be correct. Where did you or how did you acquire this understanding? I'd like to check this out because I use our ramp to earn a living. Presently the ramp has 3 piers, but one has been partially damaged from a boat fire for about 6 months, and hasn't been repaired. And it's an easy fix. Your understanding explains why, perhaps. Jobie Steppe

October 01, 2014 8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Swlip, I just got off the phone with Ron Nelson ( what a hell of a nice guy, a very interesting character ) and he said the ramp stays, absolutely. Jobie

October 01, 2014 10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to hear Seminole ramp stays; it's just about all that's left of the entire 5 miles of viewable Bay Side Water that Cocoanut Grove used to have, fairly recently. (Excluding most helicopters or Derm astronomers, of course: we're talking from the perspective of the vast majority of cars, bikes, motorcycles, pedestrians, skaters, professional surveyors or topographers, scientists, artists, runners, tourists and residents alike)

October 01, 2014 12:13 PM  
Blogger Michelle Niemeyer said...

There are a lot of misunderstandings reflected both in this article and in the comments. The committee's concerns were not about the boat launch area. They were about the fact that the City hired a completely different planner to design a different plan than came out of the public meetings involving Architectonica. The new plan minimizes the space allocated for the sailing center, which is a cornerstone of the entire concept the public created through the master plan and endorsed, again, through the recent public meetings. Tom, I don't know where you got the information you published, but if you want to call me after next week's meeting I will be happy to touch base with you about it. Sorry I didn't respond sooner. I've been slammed at work and didn't see the post until now.

October 03, 2014 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michelle, you're an attorney, right?
What is a "sailing center". Jobie Steppe

October 03, 2014 7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many millions of our money was spend on a Master Plan that we are now not using? Anyone? We don't need more grass land, sure don't want another 'event' space, not if its more of that occasional rubbish done at Peacock Park. City Park Planner have no imagination.

October 03, 2014 8:42 PM  

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