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Monday, July 09, 2018

Planning and Zoning to discuss Playhouse

There is a meeting tonight, Monday, July 9, where the Coconut Grove Playhouse will be discussed. The Planning Board will hear from the County who will ask for zoning approvals to start the project.

There are lawsuits pertaining to the Playhouse so no matter what the Planning & Zoning Board decides tonight, nothing will probably proceed.


In December, the City Commission discussed the Coconut Grove Playhouse regarding the appeal brought on by two Grovites who felt, as many do, that the HEP Board's approval (the certificate of appropriateness) of the current county's plan to rebuild the playhouse was the wrong decision. 

The state has deemed the plan as non-historic and County Commissioner Xavier Suarez along with Florida's Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera feel that the current county plans are not what the public would like and they are not preserving the playhouse, rather they are serving development and developers. Carlos made it quite clear at the last meeting, that he does not feel the current plans are what is needed.  Xavier Suarez has taken sides with Carlos
Also the state has 
turned down a grant for the county's plans for the playhouse because they feel that the historic nature is not being withheld.
The public has been rallying to save the whole structure, which 
other plans would do, rather than go ahead with the county's plans, which basically bulldoze the playhouse save for one small portion.

The last we heard, Commissioner Ken Russell gave Mike Eidson until April to raise $20 million to go with the alternate plan. Mike is an arts patron and former chairman of the Arsht Center, whose plan is favored by many Grovites. The money has not been raised, but Ken is still not giving up on Mike. Mike's plan calls for more than 300 seats, which is the county's plan.


The main issue is preservation. The County wants to preserve the front portion (the wings) while rebuilding the actual theater, the other plan calls for preserving the whole playhouse. In the meantime, the building sits empty rotting away.

The meeting tonight, July 9 is at 6:30 pm at City Hall, 3500 Pan American Drive.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Discussion to continue until developers get their way to totally destroy it and build their retail and apartments and parking spaces in a place designated for public art.

July 09, 2018 2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Preserve the facade, add seats to make it economically viable, more or less gut the interior which is probably so moldy that it would be unsafe for staff and audiences. But -- get going and get things done.

July 09, 2018 7:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Economically viable?" If you believe the County can add restaurants to the Grove that will be profitable, then perhaps the County should also take over Mr. Mo's, Fuddruckers, Kaleidoscope, El Cid, and The Ivey properties. The "new theatre" is not designed to make a profit. It is designed to leach off the surrounding businesses that the County says are going to be profitable. Michael Spring has zero idea of how to run a restaurant or if the businesses will be profitable. Gambling with your tax dollars is easy because if it fails, the County will never be held responsible.

July 11, 2018 9:36 AM  

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