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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

He thinks there is more than meets the eye

This was sent in by a reader. Feel free to send in your own Coconut Grove observations (good or bad) and we will run it as a "Postcard From a Friend." Any observation, long or short, if it's not good, please try not to use names of people or places. Email address is to the right, you can email your "postcard" there. We'll keep it anonymous. 

I am a regular reader and occasional commenter to your blog. I have been a Grove resident since 1988. I married into a old grove family 15 years ago, so my daughters will be 5th generation in the grove

I say this by way of introduction.

Why are PointeGroup and other landlords in the grove keeping so many vacant spaces open for so long? Johnny Rockets is the best example. PointeGroup claims the space was too small to get the kind of tenant they wanted. OK. I buy that. At least I bought it when they said it. But it’s been a year now. Why cancel a $15k/month lease a full year before the adjacent lease is up? You don’t think Johnny Rockets would have stayed for another year?  What gives?

A group of local businesses got together to offer $50k/month for the old Guess store. They agreed on a boutique within a larger store concept. NOPE! Pointe Group turned them down. Rather have it vacant than $50k/month. The Arquetectonica family who bought the Engle Building used the “demolition clause” in the lease to terminate everybody on 6 months notice. Sounds like an excuse to get everybody out. Maybe not. Peek behind the paper at Harry’s Pizza and Panther Coffee. Nothing much happening. How long does it take to open a coffee shop or pizzeria? Even Arquetectonica claims they want to build a hotel over the parking lot.

Here is my theory. That whole triangle from the old Goose to Johnny Rockets is going to be another high-rise. PointeGroup also plans to build high into the sky at Fuddruckers. The Engle building might not go that high, but they want a boutique hotel in the parking lot.  And they clearly have long term vision, because the Main Highway sewer rebuild, the South Bayshore reconstruction, along with “Regatta Park” an the associated monster condos, will make life miserable for all McFarlane and Main Highway businesses for years to come. Only if you plan to do your own construction does keeping those properties off the market make sense.

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...

Interesting observation by postcard author.

April 21, 2015 8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These facts should be of great concern to all of us that live and work in Coconut Grove. People don’t reside, visit or shop in neighborhoods that are similar to others. People don’t visit a community for its Starbucks and the Grove, unfortunately now has two. People prefer unique destinations, with charm, hospitality, interesting architecture, historical significant, Mom and Pop shops as well as convenient and inexpensive or free parking. The uniqueness and charm of Coconut Grove has been battling against shopping centers, luxury condos, chain stores and McMansions for decades. If not stopped soon, the Grove will be hard to distinguish from Brickell. Letters to Editor, e-mails and posting Comments may be cathartic, but they achieve little else. Look to the success of Barbara Capitan and a dedicated cadre of preservations in keeping South Beach unique and desirable. They battled property owners, developers and even their own elected leaders. But ultimately they won and everyone, even those they battled came out a head. By all means read “Saving South Beach” by Mary Barron Stofik. Put into action zoning codes that may not be altered by a slick developers attorney and the gratitude of a political leader (or their wife) whose election was funded by them.

April 21, 2015 8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I told you it was going to get worse in the center of the grove.and that's just the brikell is stating

April 21, 2015 9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Irrefutable logic from the postcard writer.

They must have huge, long term plans for the area, so they don't mind losing a few hundred thousand bucks here and there. It's called "reaching for the $ky!

April 21, 2015 9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many of these "facts" are incorrect. Why don't you speak to the actual players instead of publishing innuendo and speculation.

April 21, 2015 10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:48 -

Can you please point out which ones are wrong and correct them?

April 21, 2015 11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought there was a five story height restriction in the Center Grove. Can they really build a high-rise at the Johnny Rockets site?

April 21, 2015 5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yupp!!!!! they sure can and sure will

April 21, 2015 7:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is easy to get zoning changed. You only need the support of the "local" commissioner. In the case of the Grove that would be developer friendly Marc Sarnoff. There is a reason developers are pouring money into Sarnoff's coffers.

April 22, 2015 9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ 10:48 AM these companies are more than able to comment or send Tom their point of view - why do you think they are not doing so?

It's because they don't give SH*T, and will just refuse to address all grovites as they squash you like bugs on the sidewalk.

Good luck with having your head in the sand, tho.

April 22, 2015 4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:48 never did respond to a request to straighten out the facts he or she asserted as being incorrect. They're probably a developer or someone closely associated with one.

April 23, 2015 10:01 AM  
Blogger Ed Derks said...

To the curators of this blog, there should be some reminder of what the "old" Grove used to be 30 to 40 years ago - "tie dye" stores and sandal shops"interspersed with an occasional restaurant. Later, the more hip visitors could visit night clubs where a bit of "angel's dust" in the air was the norm. I am also of the firm opinion that most of the present "Grovites" as well as the present blogers were not here during that time.
Through the last few decades, the Grove has gone through several stages of change, and except for a few instances, only a few enterprises have been successful.
Therefore, it seem disingenuous for short-term, "non-invested" parties to harp on those parties or institutions who have committed their time, efforts and hard cash to make the Grove a vital and dynamic destination. If those individuals can't commit their financial backing to make things better, at least get their facts straight when they start pontificating.

April 24, 2015 11:45 PM  

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