Welcome to the Grapevine

The only place for Coconut Grove, FL News, Views & Opinions - Sunlight is the best disinfectant

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Change is inevitable

It was cathartic writing the "We've been taken over by opportunists" column last week. I think I got my frustrations out. While it's true that I don't understand the thinking of developers and opportunists, I am willing to try and live with them since there is no alternative. At this point, I don't have billions of dollars to buy them out and knock down their buildings.

As for renovation. I am all for renovation. Some lady called me out for being against any changes. I am all for renovation, who isn't? It's destruction and building out of scale that are the issue. Maybe most of us are just afraid to leave our  old familiar comfort zones.

I heard from someone over the weekend who is upset over the changes at the Sonesta hotel, you know, the new Hotel Aria. She wants me to get involved, but I told her that the new owners can do what they want with the place since they own it now and I guess that is the way it is with the new mega buildings going up around town.

The lady says service is terrible at Hotel Aria, she says all the familiar staff has been fired and the classy place is now not classy at all. The new owner apparently is not paying employee's heath insurance either and with all the managers let go, the place is a free-for-all for employees who are left.

I know that a lot of private condo owners there are very upset, but I was told that the reason the Sonesta sold was because of the privte owners. When a large part of the property are owned by people renting out their units through AirBnB, bypassing the hotel itself, how do people expect them to stay in business? I'm not sure how that whole thing operated, but it's a very dubious sort of business model. The Sonesta hotel chain is a very small chain owned privately by a family. It's not a big corporation. They could not handle competing with their own tenants.

I was at a party on Saturday and I met a lot of new people who are new to the Grove. They wanted me to tell them about the Grove and boy did they get an earful. But they told me their side and their view of the village. They see it as we have always seen it, as a small village on the water. The biggest asset according to these new residents is the water and waterfront, that is the attraction. They don't know much about the history or what was here before and to them the new chrome and glass may be a good thing. I like all of these people that I met and wouldn't mind being friends and hanging out with them. One lady was telling me about all the changes in her old neighborhood in New York, another was telling me about the changes where she used to live. Maybe I'll learn something from them.

I've been checking other places to live, like New London and Mystic, CT and upstate New York on the Hudson River; also the Carolinas and what I see as charming and beautiful may not be what others see who have lived there their whole lives. Maybe their current states are totally different than a few years ago.

I was told to wait and see about the Grove. So maybe that's what I'll do. 

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 Anonymous said...

So Sad and will only get worse.reminds me of all the new crappy construction in doral

September 09, 2018 8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My bet is the developers want to claim hardship so they can walk over the building department and secure waivers for zoning codes.

September 09, 2018 1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not too far in the future the only place one can see the sun in Coconut Grove will be the 15th floor upward.

September 09, 2018 3:38 PM  
Blogger Elvis Cruz said...

Change is inevitable but it does not have to be bad change.

A city can deny up-zonings or even or downzone property. You rarely see that in Miami because Miami's government is manipulated by developers and their campaign contributions.

Elvis Cruz
631 NE 57 Street
Miami, FL 33137
305 754 1420

September 09, 2018 4:10 PM  
Blogger Dennis Edwards said...

Thank you for this thoughtful essay. Food for thought at the beginning of a busy week - - - -

September 10, 2018 7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you all didn’t want glitzy offices maybe you shouldn’t have kicked all the young people out of the bars w your oridinances! ��‍♀️

September 10, 2018 9:39 AM  
Blogger Max Siegler said...

I would like to clarify some of the points as they relate to the "Sonesta" we have lived in the building since the first day it had opened and our Real Estate Company has a good deal of experience with the sales in the building. The building is made up of 211 residential units EVERY ONE privately owned. 2 additional commercial units one of which is the hotel business.The hotel never owned one single room or condo. All 211 units are private deeded condos. The hotel unit has been sold twice before this. Once from the developer to Sonesta family and then from the Sonesta family to a large corporate REIT.
The condo owners per the condo docs have the right to either participate with the optional hotel program or live in their unit or rent them. there are no restrictions. Many owners who wished to rent found it much more profitable and user friendly to use other management company's compared to the return that they received from the hotel program. we are hopeful that the new owners will be successful and execute many new improvements to the already stunning location and views that the building enjoys.The condo structure remain the same.It is not unusual in a sale like this to "cut the fat" in terms of management emplyee changes... This building remains unrivaled in views and location with resort ammenities for owners and guests....

September 11, 2018 12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Grove resident I think that a lot of the development is (or will be when it's completed) an improvement to the community. As with anything, I do there's definitely a balance to be found and not all projects are created equally, though.

Having a vibrant main st / renovated Cocowalk and the luxury aspect by the water is a good thing overall IMO - don't mess with the tree canopy between that and bird though!

September 12, 2018 1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bring the bars back! the smaller businesses can’t and won’t stay open without foot traffic back. let them stay open late again.

September 12, 2018 5:13 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home