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Friday, May 13, 2016

Former Johnny Rockets corner sold for $23 million

I had alluded to this sale the other day in an article but waited for the final sale to say anything -  the corner property where Masa Taco is now (the former Johnny Rockets space) has been sold. L3 Capital out of Chicago purchased the property. It includes the whole corner from NY Roma Pizza around to the former Goose bar location, the whole property is 22,230 square feet.

Grove Corner LLC, led by Peter Gardner (of the former PointeGroup) flipped the property after three years. He doubled the sale price from what he purchased the building for in 2013, so you can't deny he is a great businessman. It sold this week for $23 million.

There is talk of them building up, but a part of that building is historic or on an historic street, so that could be a problem. But there are also rumors of the Engle Building across the street building a hotel behind that building in the parking lot area, but nothing has been done yet. I think they did have surveyors out last year, but so far, nothing.

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 al crespo said...


I have to question your claim that Peter Gardner is a great businessman. He might be a great speculator, but what he's done does qualify him as a great businessman. A great businessman is one who creates a business that provides employment, makes things or provides a service, and provides economic benefits to their community. Gardner has not done any of those things.

That doesn't make him a bad person, but it doesn't make him a great businessman.

al crespo

May 13, 2016 2:09 PM  
Blogger Brian Breslin said...

I wonder if they would end up demolishing the whole corner and building anew. center grove will certainly change if the cocowalk developers tear out the center part to remodel. I'd like to see that corner segment turned into mixed use of some sort (think ground level retail, 1 floor of parking above that, and then 2-3 floors of residential above. Not sure how traffic would be impacted, but would be interesting.

I am also betting heavily that several "oh my god, developers are destroying the grove" comments will surface in response to this from people forgetting this corner has been languishing for years and underutilized.

May 13, 2016 3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On top of selling the property for double the purchase price, his company probably got some nice tax write-offs from all the empty storefronts in the building. I give it 2 years before most of that corner is torn down.

May 13, 2016 3:07 PM  
Anonymous Andy Parrish said...

First let me disclose that my partners and I sold the parking lot at the SW corner of Grand and Douglas to one of Peter Gardner’s companies. We also now rent a storefront office from Pointe Group. The comment from Mr. Crespo, who I know is a steadfast Grovite, I believe may be directed at Peter Gardner’s proposed redevelopment of Grand Avenue between Margaret and Plaza Street. That project has been “in the wind” for some years now.

If so, I think it is unfair to blame Peter Gardner and his partners for not completing the renovation of Grand Avenue which they undertook to do starting almost a decade ago. There’s been a complete zoning change, from Zoning Ordinance 11000 to Miami 21. There’s been a recession, including the demise of Lehman Brother which, I believe, was one of Gardner’s lenders. And there have been dozens (maybe many dozens) of meetings with the West Grove citizenry, and before the City Commission and B & Z officials, all with their own desires and requirements.

Okay, so boohoo. Nobody asked Gardner to undertake a revitalization of what I and others have called “the land that time forgot.” If you want to see what that land looked like in 1961, I have photos on my website from 1961, and Grand Avenue looked pretty much then as it looks now. You can partially blame the City, and the County, and even Coral Gables (there’s two small sections of West Grove in the Gables) for this neglect. There’s plenty of blame to go around.

Of all the “developers” who have come to this small community, Peter Gardner is the only one I know who has consistently tried to consider the needs and wishes of the people living there to the extent reasonably possible for anyone other than a “not-for-profit.” Can his efforts be second guessed? Of course, they can.

But in my opinion, nobody but the Blumenthal family (and if you don’t know that family you don’t know squat about West Grove’s history) has tried harder or more consistently to improve “the land that time forgot.” I for one hope he doesn’t give up trying.

Andy Parrish
Wind & Rain

May 13, 2016 3:58 PM  
Blogger Michael Babiarz said...

It's simple, suppress the economy by cutting the hours to consume alcohol and driving every bar and night club out of the area. Open a free trolley service that goes everywhere accept the grove and let all the businesses close by keeping high rents with no customers.

This was well played, they squeezed out all of the resources so that property values would plunge and then they went on a buying spree. Who needs businesses when you can make these types of profits by just letting stores sit empty and flip them for huge profits...

Hopefully the new owners won't do the same thing.

May 13, 2016 9:31 PM  
Anonymous al crespo said...

Dear Andy,

You are wrong. I wasn't referring to anything other than Tom's comment about Peter Gardner doubling his money on the sale of the Johnny Rocker's property. But since you brought it up, I recall Mr. Gardner appearing before the Miami City Commission several years after the code was changed from 11,000 to Miami 21, and listening to then Commissioner Sarnoff slather Mr. Gardner with praise as one of the only two honest men he know in Miami, along with a lot of other blather. I believe the Commission had to recess so that the slobber on the floor could be mopped up after Sarnoff's performance.

i keep hearing about all the bad things that are supposed to be going on in the West Grove with the "white boxes" and the HUD housing, the trees being illegally cut down and the Shotgun Houses that are being torn down, etc., and I keep trying to ignore all of it because my plate is already too full for my little one man operation, but please spare me from all the unnecessary praise for Mr. Gardner, or any developer who's lurking around the streets of the West Grove.

Whether they succeed in their goals will have little if anything to do with the wishes of the Black folks left living in the area, and more to do with making money.

Now there is nothing wrong with making money, but please don't equate it with looking out for the folks in the community, because between the developers in the West Grove, and Commissioner Hardemon and his gang of schemers in Overtown, sooner rather than later there will be signs on Grand Avenue and on NW 2nd Avenue and 6th street that say, "Black People used to live here, but they all got run off when the developers showed up to save their communities."

al crespo

May 13, 2016 10:38 PM  
Blogger Siri Willoch Traasdahl said...

Make that intersection into a roundabout for safety and traffic flow. You can then access all directions as well for added benefit.

May 14, 2016 6:44 AM  
Blogger Debbie said...

Siri....that's a great idea!

May 14, 2016 8:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great businessman, poor businessman, intelligent businessman, stupid businessman; who cares! anyone who can obtain a 50% profit in 2/3 years, from $10/12-M to $23-M should teach a class to any person; white, black, Hispanic, Asian so we could do away with welfare. Look @ China who built 7 cities each the size of New York, Chicago, Miami, L.A. or Frisco with millions of square foot in warehouse space, stores and housing for 10 to 15 million people where absolute no one lives.
They did this to keep the population(s) employed and now China is constructing islands all about the China Sea to claim new territories, i.e., what we need to do in the Grove is for everyone to purchase 10 CBS blocks @ Shell Lumber and everyone agree to throw them into Biscayne Bay at some specific location between here and Key Biscayne where prostitution and marijuana are legal. Just think about how many men & women will be employed for these renovations or new construction projects.

May 14, 2016 2:37 PM  
Anonymous Andy Parrish said...

Let’s talk about Village West/West Grove but leave Grand Avenue to Douglas out of the discussion.

I met with J.S. Rashid at the Collaborative the other day in his office opposite the new Gibson Plaza which the Collaborative and Pinnacle Housing built. We discussed the recent NY Times article about “Land Trusts” being one of the remaining vehicles for slowing gentrification in ultra-desirable locations like Village West. If Commissioners Russell (City) and Suarez (County) were to fund the Collaborative’s existing Land Trust with, say, $4Million, then perhaps 25 T-3 single family lots could be purchased for construction of homes affordable to families now renting in Village West. Many of the T-3 duplex lots, like those on Shipping and Day, have already been speculated and turned into new townhouses, with many others on streets like Carter and Plaza to follow unless we have another severe economic downturn as in 2008.

The new single family homes built on those lots would have to have additional subsidies, such as “soft 2nd” mortgages, to be affordable by families making less than $60,000, but the Land Trust would control the land in perpetuity even while “shared appreciation” would allow the families to sell the sticks and bricks after a certain period of years, just like other homeowners.

So that’s one idea to help slow gentrification in Village West. There are others, such as rent control and re-zoning to higher density, but ALL “affordable” housing strategies will require sizable subsidies. The displacement of poorer families by wealthier ones will continue over time unless something like a Land Trust is put in place to give at least a few of the less well-off families a chance to remain. And, of course, the sizable number of remaining African American homeowners still in Village West can always choose to resist the ever increasing temptation to sell.

Andy Parrish

May 14, 2016 6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only true reality to ALL OF THIS RHETORIC IS H U M A N N A T U R E. And if one knows true human nature everything happening between the North & South poles is NORMAL. Just because someone purchases a parcel of land "Johnny Rockets" for $12-M and sells it 3 years later for $23-M is anything but a simple minded stupid ignorant dim-witted individual. In my opinion anyone who comments otherwise is jealous.

May 15, 2016 4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

$23 million for 22,000 SF? yes it's going vertical, very vertical....

May 17, 2016 6:29 PM  

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