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Monday, September 07, 2015

It was staring us in the face the whole time

While everyone is fixated on the loss of Scotty's Landing and the size of the new Chart House building the real issue here is all the retail. The Hangar which could become a Chelsea Market or Faneuil Hall and the retail around the garage and the "commercial space," whatever that means, at the smaller hangar, next to the large hangar, amounts to 62,700 square feet of retail. If you look at the plans below (please click on the image for larger version), you can see how it adds up. By comparison, CocoWalk is about 200,000 square feet. So it is 1/3 the size of CocoWalk when it comes to retail. Add the restaurants and parking and it is 83,200 square feet, not counting the boat storage which is already there and not part of the retail or restaurant area; making it almost half the size of CocoWalk.

Also, looking at the diagram, the garage says it is 40,000 square feet and the large hangar is 20,000 square feet. The hanger looks to be half the size of the garage in footprint, but the garage is three stories high. I can't figure the math out, and also, the hangar can accommodate two floors, so what's to stop it from going from 20,000 square feet to 30,000 or 40,000 square feet of retail just by adding a second floor?

It's interesting that CocoWalk just sold. Do the new owners realize the competition down the road? What's to stop the 20,000 square foot hangar from becoming H&M or Macy's? And look at the traffic that just The Fresh Market gets. Won't it be worse here with all the new and different retail at The Harbour? And again, picture CocoWalk or half of it at the waterfront location. Makes you go hmmm. 

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

You make some good points on your concern over retail space on our waterfront, but don't compare it to Cocowalk compare it to Mayfair and Monty's. Perfectly good buildings were torn down to make way for upscale stores and restaurants. The economy fell and the stores and restaurants disappeared and empty buildings remained. Who made the money? The developers. And people wonder why we old Grovites complain about progress. For some strange reason, we old out-dated, not with the times Grovites think that older quint buildings with thriving businesses are better overall for our economic future than the empty modern building that have replaced them. But what do we know. We only have history to look at to see what is wrong with this future.

September 07, 2015 5:43 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Tom, As we all know, cities and counties earn much more net money from sales tax revenues, real estate taxes on commercial buildings, personal property taxes, rents and parking fees than they do from vacant, family residential or down-market and older uses. This is especially true when the property starts out as municipally owned. I would hazard that muni revenue goals drive much of this development. It would be interesting to see those projections and comparisons...a project and long-term budget and "profit" projection. Visitor and tourist money is especally sweet. The biggest cost can end up being loss of quality of life for the impacted community. What are the numbers here? Peter S.

September 07, 2015 8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So it is 1/3 the size of CocoWalk when it comes to retail."

It's essentially another huge plastic Mall with parking lots, by the water.

Of course.

Open spaces with clean Bay views, parks and promenades for leisurely visitors and residents alike that do not CONSUME stuff is not a good deal for the City..

You want a bunch of spending robots there, bringing their cars, buying anything you can sell them, not simple residents walking their dogs enjoying the open air, the weather, the views they once had. That doesn't satisfy hungry Developer$$$ and their Lobbyist$$, does it?

"Grove Harbor" is just a trick name. There will be nothing "Grovey" or "Harboring" about the large plastic mall and its car parking lots and boat parking lots (2 huge hangars)or commerce already there blocking the water (Fresh Market).

Politicians are out there to make a Profit. Not to represent Coconut Grove Resients, or free-spirited Groovy people that don't need to spend money or consume something every 10 minutes. That's the point.

Most of the current Residents, those who bought their houses to live in the "Grove" and around the "Bay" are not represented, at all. Any tourists or visitors who want to see something Different, non- Commercial, natural, open, green or blue, won't see a thing either, except ATM machines at every corner.

September 07, 2015 8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I walk the area several times per week. The smell of gasoline in some parts is really bad. Scotty's and the Chart House are not much to look at. In some places the path for walkers is very poor.

This plan looks like it will save the area for boaters and make it nicer for walkers and even bikers.

So far the new official building which houses the "dock officials???" and Regatta park are VERY welcome additions. If the future changes are on par with the latter, the Grove will be a more desirable place for all -- especially residents.

September 07, 2015 9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one could reject a modern over built community such as the Grove is becoming. All those Mac Mansions, red lights, stop signs & endless traffic & many businesses that sell products that I personally would never need. Yet the street I have lived on since 1965, Gifford Lane, and where Mac Mansions have replaced about 80% of old Grove homes is chock full of great neighbors who walk dogs, push baby carriages who stop and talk endlessly, are friendly and don't complain about much. Many folks who write scathing comments in the Grape about our community complain about the loss of a Biscayne Bay view, yet I have no problem seeing the bay from Coconut Grove North to Rickenbacker, then East to Key Biscayne where the view of the Bay is endless and spectacular. I generally launch my boat at our Seminole boat ramp and into the Bay about three times a week and avoid it like the plague on weekends due to the crowds, confusion, loud music, yelling, screaming and congestion. I venture out to Elliot Key and further South to beach comb. This Grove Harbour project, or downtown Grove doesn't give cause for me to think our community has gone down hill or lost its charm. The old Grove or the new Grove, it's still the GROVE and I love it thanks to my great neighbors and the numerous other folks I talk with daily and the many, many events endlessly taking place and the Grape which keeps us all well informed. Jobie Steppe

September 07, 2015 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"yet I have no problem seeing the bay from Coconut Grove North to Rickenbacker, then East to Key Biscayne where the view of the Bay is endless and spectacular."

We all have boats and helicopters, or live in high penthouses, so yeah, our splendid water views encompass the entire Florida peninsula.

September 07, 2015 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Charles Corda said...

These are the "old" plans- the Original Plans that Sarnoff used to push the project for the referendum.
The Plans have since been revised as they have made their way through the building and zoning departments.
What is missing here is that historic Pan American Drive has been redesigned to accommodate a few hundred extra parking spaces in addition to those in the garage,not shown on these plans or the model. In addition the "numbers" ie. the areas shown for the restaurants do not include the outdoor dining areas. In reality by Grove Harbors own zoning Calculations the total project encompasses approx. 135,000 Sf
of which approx. 35,000 Sf is restaurant Space.
As to The "Retail- both in the Garage and in "Hanger 2" -the requirements of the Sasaki Plan dictated that such retail be "Marine Related" only. Sasaki was very clear once again that if retail was developed on this site it should only serve the Boating Community and NOT be General retail, or compete with Center Grove Businesses. This is something that will clearly be ignored in this development.
Once again Sarnoff is concealing the true facts about this project so as not to negatively impact his/his wife's District Two run. More of the same from Sarnoff. The man does not know how to tell the truth. He spins every thing he says. 60% of the Grove voted against this project..for good reason. It will bring about vast changes in the character of Coconut Grove. A Mini Bayside it clearly is..something we most definitely did no,t and do not want, on our bayfront.
This is clearly Sarnoff working against our community to foster upon us something that does not belong here. Remember on Election Day Sarnoff is working for his friends NOT for our community. Remember when you can no longer drive down Bayshore drive or 27th Avenue, or walk and peacefully enjoy our irreplaceable bay front who did this to us. The idea of taking away our green space and lining the bay front with supermarkets, big box retail,a strip mall, parking garages, bars, banquet halls and a sea of street level parking is criminal. This will go down in Miami history as one of the worst..most damaging attacks- on the urban fabric ever conceived. For this we have Sarnoff to thank.
Our only hope is that the next District Two Commissioner can somehow reign in this project to limit its damage to our community. Vote Sarnoff out for good. Replace him with someone who actually cares about our village, our community and our City.

September 07, 2015 9:46 AM  
Blogger James said...

I heard terrible things about the new harbormasters building before it was built, how it was a monstrosity, etc. It turned out to be a very nice upgrade. I'll withhold my judgement until I see the finished product

September 07, 2015 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"As to The "Retail- both in the Garage and in "Hanger 2" -the requirements of the Sasaki Plan dictated that such retail be "Marine Related" only. Sasaki was very clear once again that if retail was developed on this site it should only serve the Boating Community and NOT be General retail, or compete with Center Grove Businesses. This is something that will clearly be ignored in this development."

Exactly what did that mean, "for the boating community only" or "marine related only". The vast majority (93.5% ?) of Grovites and visitors do not own boats, they dwell on houses, apts, drive cars, ride bikes or walk dogs.

Can Michelle Niemeyer shed some light this? She was rather knowledgeable about those Sasaki Dreams, nice futuristic drawings and Waterfront false promises.

September 07, 2015 10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't need a boat, helicopter or high rise to get a look at Biscayne Bay or watch a sun set. You could walk to one of our parks and look to the East, or go to Rickenbacker and head East, or acquire a paddle board, kayak, purchase or construct a small dingy/rowboat or a small run about for a few thousand dollars, but that would mean you would have to get up and do something other than bitch, moan & groan and as for folks who just bitch, moan & groan you could never appreciate a beautiful sunset and the sparkling water of Biscayne Bay anyway. As I launched my small run about from Seminole a few days ago a recent transplant was sipping coffee at the end of the pier, texting and had a book in her lap and as I was about to depart she turned to me, gave off a beautiful smile and said "We are so lucky to have such a beautiful view". She told me about her husband and son, said she came from the Midwest and wanted to be next to the water. She appeared to be happy, content and pleased from her perspective, from the end of our pier! If I ever see her again I'll suggest she give some of you folks a lecture as she was a professor. Jobie Steppe

September 07, 2015 11:37 AM  
Blogger James said...

Also, for those complaining about water access, wouldn't this increase the waterfront access? Building the baywalk will increase the usable public space right on the water.

September 07, 2015 1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is public owned prime waterfront land being used for private businesses? Such arrangements and mismanagement of public good is why 25% of city live in poverty now. Cronyism, waste, no regards for constituents and culture of corruption.

September 07, 2015 2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Chelsea Market type place would be an amazing thing. Miami needs to catch up with the other metropolitan cities in the U.S. and create cool, avant grade places where locals and tourists want to go. Wynwood was a good start. Let's keep it up.

September 07, 2015 3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You ask "Why is public owned prime waterfront land being used for private business"? We, the people own the private land, elect our officials who use our land to make money, that's why! We also have parks, marinas, great views, walkways, improved streets, clean water, regular garbage pick-up, mail, great supermarkets, fresh produce from our local farms, a great school system, courts, police, and national guard, etc., etc., and etc.. Try getting these great services in Haiti, Syria or other middle Eastern countries and many places in Africa or Central America!

September 07, 2015 4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Water "views" In 5 Miles of former "Bayside, from Coral Gables circle to the K.Biscayne toll plaza....

Few Secret Tips:

1. On Main Hwy, make a right in Royal Rd, go less than a mile, at the end you have a few open feet of Bay water to drool on.

2. A couple miles north, on Crystal View Ct (where Lebron used to live) you may also enjoy at the very end of the street a few feet of water, or you can take a brief tour of the Grove Isle Private entry, (be sure to take pictures and brag about that.)

Also, If you sneak in behind the sacred Mangroves on Peacock Park, there IS a boardwalk, and a small view of the Bay. Most visitors or even locals never see it, but it's there.. Also deep behind the Dog Park on Kennedy, or at the end of Alice Wainwright park you can get a glimpse of some water.

And if you own a boat you can squeeze it in the ONLY, UNIQUE 50 feet of open water visible by car in the entire 5 Miles: our stupendous, magnificent, and quite oily Seminole boat ramp!!

And if you're in still the mood for politics and oily water, while paying attention to the actual "Pedestrians Yield to Forklifts" signs, you might weasel around back Scotty's and the Fresh Market to check out some speed boats, be sure to say high to the Sarnoffs at City Hall, (there's 15 feet of street-side water there where poor people can actually fish, legally, the only place).

(Please don't tell too many people about the Royal Rd and Crystal Ct. awesome waterfront spectacles)

September 07, 2015 5:12 PM  
Blogger MPeggyQ said...

I was marketing CocoWalk when I first heard of this project. My initial thought was, 'this will kill Center Grove.' I brought it up several times, with the owners and as a BID board member. My point was basically ignored, or glossed over with 'we'll watch and see,' 'no it won't', or 'that's the way it is.' I'm not surprised at this point at anything that goes on with that project. And I still feel that it will hurt Center Grove businesses badly. Once they park in that garage, or in the new spaces I just learned will be on PanAm Drive, they will not leave. They're coming for the 3 restaurants I see on this plan... and whatever retail ends up there...and I'll bet it won't be just marine-oriented.

And it's of note that we have tried for years to get the trolley to come to the Grove. Again, put off with reasons & excuses why 'that won't happen.' Now I hear that it may show up just in time for elections.

Hope the city has some plans for improving & widening roads. Bayshore & Tigertail are a congested mess now & will surely get worse. And someone tell me why the years' long fixing of 27th Ave still left it with only one lane each side. Awhoa... that's way too many points & questions at one time. But from the people I talk to, they are asking the same questions.

September 07, 2015 5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 5:12, Please do not drive, bike or walk since it is obvious you have your eyes closed. There are numerous views of the ocean, Biscayne Bay and unobstructed views of the Florida Straits from Key West to Miami, Florida & North especially from Stuart, Fort Pierce and Vero Beach(s). And in the Grove we are equally fortunate to have views of Biscayne Bay; but 1st you must open your eyes, enjoy what we have and stop complaining about nothingness.

September 07, 2015 5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon@ 5:20pm

As a lucky Bayshore Dr. Bayfront resident with a rare a top-floor waterfront view, as an avid outdoors guy, and as a triathlete on top of that, I've walked, ran, biked and driven every freaking inch of the Grove for almost 11 years now. Almost every day of those 11 years in various ways, we do the swimming elsewhere, of course.

Alternatively, I've taken even overnight shrimp boat trips all over, not to mention fishing and leisure cruises through the years. But that does not count for 90% of the average residents and visitors. They are not all fishermen like you seem to be, dude.

Be specific, dream boy, do this:

1/ Drive the 5 miles of Grove "Bayside".

2/ SPECIFICALLY, tell me where you see any water from the car window.

I already gave out the few spots, anyway, but feel free to be creative.

You can bring friends, all wide awake with "open eyes", wearing glasses, binoculars even.

Boats and helicopters need not apply.

When you're back on planet Earth, (away from your boat) then write down your precise Mirages and water paradise hallucinations.

September 07, 2015 8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:40pm "That is Why!"? Why has poverty risen so drastically in the City of Miami in the past ten years? Who is going to answer? What have our elected officials been up to?

Miami's Median Income Is Second Lowest in America; Poverty Is Second Highest

22% seniors in Miami live in poverty:

Miami Poverty Rate Among Highest In Us Census Report

September 07, 2015 10:36 PM  
Blogger charles byrd said...

I like the Chelsea Market n idea a lot..but the less intense retail. .The better..and if Scottys isn't right on the bay. .The whole thing should be scrapped as far as I'm concerned. .I mean what would be the point. .

September 07, 2015 11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 8:38 :
1st off, where is this delusional 5 miles of PUBLIC Grove Bayside? I referred to public parks, public piers, public walkways & public places where folks can boat, walk, ride bicycles, take a bus or Metro-rail and see miles and miles of Biscayne Bay.

2'd of all, who said anything about trying to see our beautiful bay from a "Car Window"? That's for couch potato's!

3'd, I don't like to fish and I don't fish.

4'th, You people that gripe endlessly about not having access to what the Grove has to offer want to see it from the comfort of some air conditioned vehicle speeding by, but you won't! You'll have to park your vehicles or leave your comfort zone(s) to walk & bicycle, or get a boat to enjoy our great Biscayne Bay. Of course, you'll have to sweat a little or have a decent paying job to purchase a good pair of walking shoes, or a cheap bicycle or a modest boat, but, hey, come to think about this, never mind, stay on your couch or in your cars and that will make it less crowed on the Bay so people like me don't have to listen to your griping as sound carries far on the water. SBBFNW i.e., Save Biscayne Bay For Non-Whiners! Or WSH i.e., Whiners Stay Home! Or SAL, i.e., Sweat a little. Or TAH, i.e., literally, Take a Hike! Or GAL, i.e., Get a Life.

September 08, 2015 2:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1/ Coconut used used to have 5 miles, precisely, of Bay side, waterfront property, except it's all blocked now, 99% of it. Can't see it. Comprende?

You're either high, or can't read. I do triathlons around here, dumbo.

Where are the SPECIFIC views you dream about, on foot, bike or car?

Enough of you. Stay

September 08, 2015 8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1/ Oh, you mean "Coconut used used (one used to many) to have 5, miles precisely, of Bay side, waterfront property" say 100 years ago!

I'm definitely "HIGH" on life and since when do "triathions" (correct spelling is triathlons, DUMBO!) take place at the East side of our Groves beautiful parks facing Biscayne Park?

The specific places where you can view the bay are from Peacock Park, then the walkway about Scotty's, the next park North, Mercy Hospital and the park just before Rickenbacker Causeway, through out Virginia Key,then down the causeway to the Bear Cut Bridge. I hope this helps you enjoy our Biscayne Bay, I do!

September 08, 2015 9:17 AM  
Anonymous Jim said...


Your constant complaining about the water views were old and tiresome years ago. The truth of the matter is that the Grove's waterfront has been what it is for years - way before you were born. If you'd like to take action, perhaps it is time to amass a giant fortune to buy out all the private property that's up against the shore and bulldoze it. Maybe that way you'll get your wish of being able to see the water from the comfort of your car. I'm sure all other drivers will also appreciate the water view between text messages.

September 08, 2015 9:30 AM  
Blogger reid prevatt said...

Jim is right. Too many complainers around your Blog. Nobody wants a Shula burger Joint but the fact is there was only one bidder at the end and if they really have that kind of money they can do whatever they want. All parking Garages have retail on the bottom floor. Helps pay for the garage and attracts people. Does this take away from center Grove nobody knows but we all know the pie is pretty big in Miami. Seeing the water, triathlete or not is very easy. Get off your ass and bike or walk. The waterfront is there. I am pissed the free parking will soon be gone.
The Grove is great and some of you need to stop complaining. And Hey what about that Park where some thought keep the tenants in the BLDG. (dinner Key Auditorium) Tom was wishy washy on that one I remember. Also do not understand why anybody with two sense to their brain would want a business to have a 5 o clock liquor license. Us early birds see the filth already with these kids. Again I would bet the Bitchers here have probably not even been in the Barnacle. Rest my case there.

September 08, 2015 10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim and Reid have a point, obey, believe and go to sleep sheeple

September 09, 2015 11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was the Sasaki plan handed down from god on stone tablets or delivered by aliens to help us avoid a perilous future?

I can't tell which from the zealous nature of the Sasaki Apostles, but it certainly must be one of the two.

September 10, 2015 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One thing hasn't changed in 35 years...the Grove's Debbie Downers. You'd think living in paradise, given all the world's problems, would put a smile on their faces. Geesh....

September 11, 2015 12:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't know what a Debbie Downer was, so I looked it up. Appears to be the same as a Gadfly, right? I actually fish for them! Like a fisherman who constructs his own fly who then hooks, pulls hard when he feels a tug, snags, reels in, skins, guts, fry and eat that stupid fish that fell for my words like some stupid fish snagged by that fake fly. They come out of the woodwork like termites to a light and are extremely easy to snag!?

September 11, 2015 8:49 AM  

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