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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

He wants to over-populate Coconut Grove

I was talking with one of the condo developers here in the Grove last week. He told me that there is not enough housing available in the market, not only the Grove, but all of Miami-Dade County. I can't remember the figures, but he said while there is available housing, there isn't enough.

He said that the Grove needs more housing, meaning condos. He said that the current population in 33133 cannot support the businesses in 33133, meaning the stores and restaurants. But I told him that the Grove always had to rely on outsiders for business.

I think the trick is to bring people in to dine and shop and not overpopulate the neighborhood with more housing and condos. I suspect if he was a mall builder, he would think we needed more malls, or if he built restaurants, he would think we needed more restaurants. Since he builds condos, he thinks we need to build up, you know, into the sky.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

His rational is flawed. We all know that many condos are bought by individuals overseas that bring in no business at all (Yes to the developer and realtor money in the bank). Coconut Grove has to be destination not an over populated area. I say let’s build a mega condo next the developers home or Apt block his view give him more traffic and noise and tell him overpopulate to bring in business.

April 14, 2015 9:03 AM  
Anonymous Charles Corda said...

I tend to agree with Commenter #1. It will be well near impossible to build enough new residential to support the commercial sector of the Grove no matter how many units are constructed. In addition it is anticipated that at least some of the new units that will come on line will be "affordable" or workforce housing,the occupants of which being of lessor income will not make a significant or meaningful contribution to the support of the commercial sector.
There is a desire in the development community at the least to build new housing in the Grove. Chances are this is a given. Properties have been acquired and plans are being prepared. The rational for same has ranged from the "Need" for affordable" housing too the need to support retail and restaurants. The logic being put forth is generally faulty and has not been based upon anything that actually resembles facts. The simple truth is the Grove is a desirable place to live and people will rent or buy condo's here. You can count on this happening in time. The big problem as I see it is the failure of Government to provide viable solutions to the problems greater density will bring to our neighborhood. The current Government has simply ignored issues of transportation , traffic and general congestion that will accompany this projected increase in density.
Given the current District Two Commissioner's penchant for upzoning anything and everything he can in order to support his developer friends, Higher density in the Grove is fait accompli. The only way to bring sensible and sustainable planning to Coconut Grove is to be sure Sarnoff no longer has any say in our community. That means getting this entire community behind one District Two candidate who can beat Teresa Sarnoff on election day. Who that is remains to be seen. but the problems that will be created in Coconut Grove will be created or solved at the City Commission level. Until Sarnoff is totally removed from power you will never see intelligent solutions to the issues of growth facing Coconut Grove. What will come of the Grove will be decided in November. Will it be rampant uncontrolled development or intelligent sustainable and compatible with the nature of the Grove that we live in and love? We will make that choice when we cast our votes for the next District 2 commissioner.

April 14, 2015 10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At the end of the day, The Grove just isn't what it used to be. Now, young adults with disposable income are flocking to Wynwood, SoBe and Brickell. And the more affluent, 30-50 crowd seems to be also be fleeing to the same areas + South Miami.

If you don't want to add more Residents to the Grove, you'll need a huge overhaul of Center Grove. Back in the day this was "the" place, but it's just not anymore. You can't keep doing the same thing and expect different results.

April 14, 2015 3:34 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

Given housing costs in the Grove, both to purchase a home and to rent, clearly demand is high and supply is low. As a renter considering buying in the Grove, I must say that there really are not enough units on the market, which drives the price up to unreasonable levels. Many 3BR single family homes (most in need of repair if not major remodeling) are going for $700,000 or more. 2 BR townhouses and condos in the North Grove are regularly going for $500,000 - $600,000. The median sales price in southwest Coconut Grove is $701,000. This is dramatically more than in Wynwood, Edgewater, or South Beach where one can purchase a 2 BR condo for almost half that amount. The median sales price in Miami Beach is $380,000. While I understand not wanting to overpopulate the Grove, we should also consider not wanting to make the Grove so expensive to live in that only the really wealthy can afford it. I think the Grove is great because of the diversity of its residents and I hope that more affordable housing is built so that we can keep prices down while also welcoming more young residents.

April 14, 2015 3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Usually business people with a long term perspective prefer balanced growth to prevent adverse response to inevitable shocks and assure perpetual stability, there is too much irrational investment in development without enough investment in infrastructure which will cause instability in the future.

April 14, 2015 4:24 PM  
Blogger Bill O'Shannon said...

I love the Grove, but
Coconut Grove is dying.
Coconut Grove is dying.

Housing prices are too high and our businesses are withering. We need more residents to eat shop and play here. We need more businesses to create daytime traffic and commerce. We will not survive when current residents are priced out and the only people left to support our businesses are college students. Is that what we want? Coconut Grove is a very special community. I understand that you want to protect it but the brand of protection we have advocated for so long is strangling our community. Smart development takes place in city centers to prevent urban sprawl. Coconut Grove is such a city center. We should welcome it to keep our community vibrant. Our challenge is not to oppose development, our challenge is to retain our charm and character during this time of growth. Let's harness that spirit of creativity and quirkiness that attracted us to the Grove in the first place.

April 15, 2015 2:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First came the Bahamian settlers,
Then came the northerners,
Next came the hippies,
And then the Latinos,
Now the developers,
What if every generation that came, Succeeded to uproot the one before,
Wait. Where are the Tequestas?
Cherish your history,
That is true glory.

April 15, 2015 8:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The minute they started getting rid of clubs was the beggining of the end for the grove.some old fart who got sick of weekend traffic and noise destroyed what we all came to love about the grove.And that's the truth jack

April 15, 2015 8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually prior to getting rid of clubs young kids and tweens were chased out by threat of police action if they drove around more than once, the kids used to give life to the Grove. Killing the Grove was systematic and well orchestrated, step by step for a nasty bunch to take over and flourish.

April 15, 2015 11:04 AM  
Anonymous Mike Simpson said...

Ask any merchant in Coconut Grove (or any other neighborhood in Miami, honestly) when they were the busiest last year and their answers won't be dates. Grove shop owners will say "King Mango" or "Mad Hatter weekend" or "Bed Race weekend" or "Art Festival week" or even "Miami Spice". Grove businesses are most successful when there is a reason for the people to come there. Our tourism-based economy works best when non-residents bring their money into our neighborhoods.

Everything that we add to the community that has the potential to draw people in makes us more successful, whether it's small things like the new programs at the Peacock Park Community Center, or large events like Art Festival. Every thing that leaves the Grove, like the upcoming Science Museum relocation, leaves less and less for us.

April 16, 2015 9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if the developer had said the Grove needs more affordable housing, perhaps there would be a reasonable debate. But what is being built along S Bayshore is not affordable. And most of the purchases are made as second homes.

The Pointe Group keeps gobbling up properties and making it untenable for a small business owner to survive.

April 17, 2015 2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Small business owners need more than a few popular weekends to support themselves. They need a steady midweek business. That will only come from more people living in the Grove and more people working in the Grove.

April 23, 2015 12:00 AM  

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