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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Eating House is eating up the Glass House

You know that community center in half of the Glass House? We'll according to reports, it's going to be cut down to about a quarter of the size of the building so that The Eating House restaurant can take over half of their space and then have three fourths of the glass house.

The director of the Center notified the community center of the "take over" recently. The restaurant will now claim almost all of the equipment storage space and the bathrooms, effective August 17, according to Mike Simpson, who is running for District 2 Commission seat. His wife Stayc Sharrow Simpson runs the Gymagination program at the Glass House.

"This will effectively kill all community programs in the Peacock Park Community Center," says Mike.

"According to the parent of one of my wife's students (who was privy to the details of the final deal between the City & the restaurant) this can happen because the City did not lease half the building to the restaurateur--apparently they leased the ENTIRE building to a property management company who sublet it to the restaurant.  My wife will be demanding to see contracts that give them this right, but I'm sure there's paperwork somewhere," says Mike.

It makes sense as Peacock Park itself has sold out to the highest bidder, why not the glass house?  Kick ball teams have been thrown out of the park after so many years and the soccer field and basketball courts are controlled by St. Stephen's school. A friend told me that this was going to happen years ago, I didn't believe her but she was totally right.

Update: Grace Solares is on it. She sent this email this morning: "I have requested a copy of the Lease between the City and the Glass House.  This should tell us how much of the area they are entitled to use.   I received a copy of the Lease this morning and it is about 107 pages long.  I have also requested a copy of the actual RFP.  I have not received that one.  I just have to remind you that the Lessees of the Glass House are the same who received the RFP award at Grove Bay/Scotty's [Grove Bay Investment Group].  Surprised?"

Grace is also running for District 2 Commission seat.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure I get the math. If EH is taking up half their space how are they being cut down to 1/4 their size?

July 29, 2015 8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This structure has looked "abandoned" for years so I look forward to a tenant that takes care of the property and discourages vagrants on-site.

July 29, 2015 8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Community Center operates through the parks department, is it allowed to without restroom facilities?

July 29, 2015 9:17 AM  
Anonymous AM said...

I'm not sure about the park being sold to the highest bidder...and if it was, good. The park is alive!

The kids soccer school on the new soccer fields is AWESOME!! The fields are always being used by groups of your guys playing soccer as well.

While my kid practices soccer, I shoot some hoops.

Kids are always playing on the jungle gyms too!!

Let us not ignore the yoga going on too!!

The park is ALIVE!!! so happy we moved away from the skate park and dead offices!

July 29, 2015 9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back in the day, this space was used as a place for ping-pong and indoor games. It was a true community building. It does have bathrooms. It was perfect for those days when its too hot to play outdoors. Where in the Grove can the kids go now?

Thanks Ms. Solares for getting on this. You have my support. Too bad people put business in front of the welfare of the people in our community. When our leaders leave the community building in derelict conditions, some people are happy to see ANYTHING in it. Smoke and mirrors. These people don't know what this building has been and what it could be again.

July 29, 2015 9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So true! I can't wait until Eating House opens!

July 29, 2015 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Robert Sullivan said...

I have seen a couple times on this blog that "Kickball is gone" from Peacock Park but I saw several games being played simultaneously one evening last week. Upon checking their website, I see that they state that they play there on Friday evenings.

Why do we keep hearing that the Kickball League no longer plays there?

July 29, 2015 10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


And the soccer and basketball areas are open to the public as well.

Saying that the Peacock has been "privatized" stirs things up among the old Grovites. That's why it's constantly mentioned.

July 29, 2015 11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@10:00 -

I was wondering the same thing this past Friday when I saw a big group of people in kickball attire wandering in the Grove at night.

July 29, 2015 12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@10:00 and also because it is privatized with St. Stephen's having the lock and key to the fenced in areas. It's a scam, that's why it's "constantly mentioned."

July 29, 2015 12:31 PM  
Anonymous Mike Simpson said...

Update: According to a follow up to our inquiry about this at the District 2 office, the plans to remove the storage closets for a restroom access hallway were planned to provide 24-hour access to the public restrooms even when the Community Center is closed. While this will require some adjustment by the Community Center staff, in the long run an open public restroom will alleviate more problems in Peacock Park than just accommodating the restaurant. While it wasn't communicated well, this is something positive overall.

July 29, 2015 1:46 PM  
Anonymous Allen Pertuz said...

Is it wise to have 24 hour restroom access in a public park? Have you seen the area around the restrooms/showers on Key Biscayne just before the Rickenbacker Causeway Bridge? Trust me, it's a bad idea. The restrooms should close when the park does.

July 29, 2015 9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The restrooms will be open to the public during normal park hours. The restaurant will also have access to the restrooms for its customers. Since the building is not huge certain items in storage near the restrooms will have to be relocated to accommodate access. Grace Solares is doing her research on the RFP and the lease.

July 30, 2015 1:18 AM  
Anonymous Carrie said...

I am so excited for Eating House to open!! As of now, that building just looks like a place for homeless people and drugged out people to loiter around. As a Grove resident, I support businesses and not facilities that no one uses. Love when I see Coconut Grove thriving and full with people!! GO GROVE!!!

July 30, 2015 9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The park is still alive, I don't know what this writer is talking about. Kickball is still being played there as well as softball. As for St. Stephens, they only have use of the courts and soccer field during school hours. After, it is up to the parks department to open up the gates to the public.

July 30, 2015 11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must note that the parks department really should take over scheduling use of the soccer fields at night. High school aged hooligans are currently causing some situations over there. I'm sure it will all be shut down for public use when the violence escalates and someone sues. Meanwhile the city could have avoided it by taking some control.

July 30, 2015 3:55 PM  

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