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Sunday, October 04, 2015

We thought it was the new Hyatt Regency

It's been a week since the grand opening of Regatta Park. I think it's great, but a few people have had complaints about the benches and the lack of shade. But there was one thing that stood out like a sore thumb and almost every person I came into contact with has something to say about it - the Dock Master's building. Look at it. It's humongous! Ha, Humongous; I don't think I ever used that word before, but it just fits.

The thing is the size of a hotel. At one point, some of us were joking about what to call it - the Hyatt, the Double Tree, the Ritz Carlton? I ran into one of the local Grove hotel managers at the event, I joked about him being the new manager, he shied away and said, "Hey, don't get me involved, I have nothing to do with that!"

I'm not sure who planned this $3 million dollar monstrosity, an ugly building that blocks the water, but whomever approved it, probably our city commissioners, should be ashamed of themselves. It's a joke. The whole point of knocking down the Expo Center was to open up water views and then right on top of the water is this thing. One of my neighbors thought this was Grove Harbour, the new mall on the water, and that there were restaurants in the building, which of course, there aren't.

Look at the old Dock Master's office here; what was it, 400 or 800 square feet? It served the purpose and was unobtrusive.

You would think the new park would lead down to the water's edge after all the planning, but no, there is a big black driveway that separates the grass from another bit of grass and then there is more concrete and then there is the Dock Master's office. I only noticed the big black driveway because a couple of people brought it up to me. Very strange. If this is how the waterfront plan is going to work, I shudder to think how Grove Harbour, is going to end up. In fact, just yesterday, I had people refusing to believe that there would be a bay walk along the water, they said I was wrong for saying that, that it would end up being the private property of the restaurants that were being built on the site. This is how people think these days, it's a shame that they cannot even trust their government to do the right thing. Maybe some of these leaders saw and heard The Pope this past weekend and something he said will sink in and they will start doing the right thing.

Regarding that; I had believed that there were a lot of people at the Regatta Park grand opening event, but it was quite small, I am told 150 people attended. I was told by friends that they did not attend because it was turned into a political thing and not a park opening. It's true, the usual suspects were there, but all the same, I had a good time.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a sidewalk on the other side of the Dockmaster's building so you can walk up to the water's edge and see the water. I walk there all the time to see the water, and I've never been accused of trespassing on private property.

October 04, 2015 9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"..this $3 million dollar monstrosity, an ugly building that blocks the water, but whomever approved it, probably our city commissioners, should be ashamed of themselves. "

Let's try to be fair, it's not that ugly in itself, but it is a monstrosity blocking the water. And yes, whomever are the numerous people behind it, should hide their heads in the sand.

It's Obvious that the small group of wealthy sailors who will regularly use the 3 Million $$$ place, a few dozen people?, occasionally only, have lot's of influence at City Hall. Not to mention who made wrapped-up their retirement plan with the contracts involved.

They spend $3 Million on that semi-private, exclusive water-blocking monstrosity, and then the average Joe, the public, residents without boats, tourists, visitors, the majority of tax payers, what do we get?

Cheap, abominable Concrete "park benches", lack of trees for such a park, and a Trailer-Trash despicable, hideous rolling "bathroom" on Kennedy Park. Thanks Commissioners, keep up the Juicy Concrete Contracts!

October 04, 2015 9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@anon 9:17

Have you ever heard of Perspective, points of view, horizon, short distance vs long distance, a decent View, by definition, requires Open Space.

October 04, 2015 9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like anon 9:17 said, there's a sidewalk, use it! It's not a ugly stupid building, more or less compared to the existing 7,000,000,000 or so other buildings on planet earth. And why would rich millionaires or billionaires want to sit around in this particular structure with folks who are only wealthy enough to own, say less than 100' vessels? Besides, what's inside, naked men & women, illegal ivory and animal furs, free food? This area of Coconut Grove has been rated as the largest marina in Florida with EXTREMELY QUALIFIED service, and provides a ton of jobs for all levels of employment. So, who ever envisions this need for a quality structure worthy of our GROVE did a great job! Jobie Steppe

October 04, 2015 10:11 AM  
Blogger James said...

I actually think it looks nice. In touring the building it looks like it has public spaces as well. My only complaint with the building, and it is a major one, is how can you not have at least one restroom open to the general public? I understand having specific ones just for people keeping to boats, but you have the big park there, and the closest public restroom is where, Kennedy Park? Every restroom in the building was locked the two times I've been there.

October 04, 2015 10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 9:35. "Perspective, points of view". Say what! What does that mean to me, nothing? Try this perspective point of view. The view begins from the sidewalk and looking East is that "Open Space" your perspective point of view refers to. However, to get to your "Perspective, points of view" one must get off the couch, out of your abode, out of your car and place one foot in front of the other, so as not to fall over, which is called walking, face East, open your eyes and presto! Boats, tree covered islands, blue skies, a Northeasterly breeze, Biscayne Bay, Key Biscayne, Stiltsville, the Gulf Stream, the Bahamas, the Atlantic Ocean. You can't see all this from your key board, so get up and get going and stop bitching! Jobie Steppe

October 04, 2015 10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not know who was behind this facility, but they should be praised not panned. Improving the facilities at dinner key is a huge boom for our community and businesses. People not directly involved in boating may not realize, but boat owners, many who are retired, spend a lot of time traveling around the state, back and forth to the Bahamas, and up and down the east coast. Marinas offer what they call "transient slips" which are essentially like a hotel for a boat owner. You pay a daily rate based on length of your boat and are given access to various amenities such as bathrooms, showers, laundry etc. Dinner key's amenities and customer service were pretty bad, and many boaters I knew chose to stay at marinas near downtown and miami Beach including all the boaters needing a staging stop before heading over to the Bahamas. These boaters will shop in our stores and eat in our restaurants. We should be doing what we can to welcome more. Building this new dockmaster building with new facilities is the first step to getting coconut grove back on the boating communities must see location. I suspect the height of the building is a result of new county and federal standards about buildings constructed on coastal waters.

Just listen to some of the reviews for dinner key before this building.
This marina is huge, and the amenities aren't sufficient for the number of people. For instance, the bathrooms, showers, and laundry should all be doubled in size. Security is pretty good. Everyone gets a key to their pier so access is somewhat limited.

The best thing about DKM is that it is on the edge of Coconut Grove--great restaurants and terrific night life

Facility is a municipal marina that is old, tired and understaffed. It appears as though the city is reinvesting little or no money into the physical plant or infastructure. Dock hands, with an occasional exception, are less than helpful. The only plus is that it is close to the heart of Coconut Grove.
We radioed in for our slip assignment which they gave us but that was the extent of their help to find our slip. This was our first experience of no one meeting us at the slip. The bathrooms were clean but old and men's shower had little water pressure. The 2 things that are good about the marina is the town is 2 blocks away and a Fresh Market store is 2 blocks away. We won't be returning to that marina.

So there you have it. Dinner key is the largest wet slip marina in florida. the boating community is a huge and growing tourist population. it is about time we provided better amenities and support for those valuable visitors to our community.

October 05, 2015 6:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The photo of the "old" dock master's office building is of the Grove Harbour gas and dockmaster offices and Marina the marina and dry stack storage behind Fresh Market. The Dinner Key dockmaster and marina facilities building is a single story building located directly in front of the new dock master's building. It is slated for demolition shortly. The Baywalk and road will continue in front of the new building allowing one to drive from 27th Av and Seminole Boat ramp along the marina docks, past the new dock master's building and then proceeding behind City Hall/Commission office building until you circle back around to Pan American Drive. The newly asphalted road that cuts across the new Regatta Park was identifed during the planning process as not being a part of the Sasaki Master plan and effectively bifurcating the southern portion of the park from the rest of the park, but to no avail.

October 05, 2015 2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The bright and early 6:59 am hit the nail on the head. There's more than one kind of tourist and more than one kind of tourism. As many times as I've read Tom's blog include talk about a sailing village, I've never seen much in the way of detail or how that can be used as a grove positive.

Sure, it'a big building, but it's a big industry. And the look of the building itself is quite nice.

Now the blacktop - there's a real point to be made there, and I think the answer sadly was cheaper upkeep - just like everything in that park. Cheap looking, but cheaper on the monthly budget.

October 05, 2015 3:18 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Those of us who sail are pleased that there is a new facility with basic amenities like laundry and showers for transient cruising sailors. Miami should have good facilities like other sailing destination cities.

October 05, 2015 4:44 PM  
Blogger J. Kay said...

I like the design by MC Harry, a well respected architect of many quality public buildings, schools, etc. It's ridiculous that every new building is labeled ugly just because they are new. This is a nice looking building and fits in well, in my opinion.

October 06, 2015 3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's colorful matching the blue skies with a touch of white for clouds, in fact it blends in appropriately with the blue/white sky line in this picture. During a hurricane, it's 95% above huge wave & tidal surge. The building represents the larges marina in Florida and is a credit to Coconut Grove and the City of Miami, Dade County, Fl. It's surrounded by a boat ramp, parking, vibrant stores, shrimp boats, party boats, paddle board, parachute and for rent vessels, sea tow, restaurants, a bank, high rises, parks, Biscayne Bay and the Gulf Stream, the City of Miami & South Beach to the N & NE, Key West to the South and Naples to the West. What's not to like.

October 06, 2015 4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my only problem with this building is that there was supposed to be a convenience store in the building. We were were supposed to be able to buy beer.
As for anon 9:22 who wines about wealthy sailors, these sailors pay big bucks to keep their boats at their marina. Big bucks, higher than other city marinas. Would you want another Montys or bayside there?

October 06, 2015 10:11 PM  
Anonymous swlip said...

I like it. The old dockmaster's building was an embarrassment. Knowledgeable sailors have consistently said that DKM was the worst marina on the East Coast. The facility was in desperate need of an upgrade.

As for its size, an observer might note that it's built on concrete stilts, and has a pitched metal roof. These features give it a higher profile, but they are useful features in our climate. You know, hurricanes?

October 07, 2015 10:57 PM  

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