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Thursday, June 20, 2019

County suing City over Coconut Grove Playhouse

On June 17, 2019, Miami-Dade County filed a lawsuit against the City of Miami regarding the Coconut Grove Playhouse. The County is not going to take "no" as an answer.

The county seems quite spiteful and they are going to ram the chrome and glass structure down our throats.

The county is asking that the court, "issue a writ of certiorari quashing the City of Miami Mayor’s veto."

The long boring lawsuit, goes over the same old, same old, giving the history of the Playhouse. What they fail to mention is that it's all about developing that prime property and has nothing to do with saving theater in Coconut Grove.

It sort of reminds me of so many years ago when The Home Depot wanted into the Grove and locals did not want a big box store. After all the development over the past 10 years, The Home Depot issue seems so trivial now.

But at the time Home Depot threatened lawsuits and they threatened to take over the Milam's spot leaving the Grove without a supermarket, but I was glad to see a few years later that Milam's expanded, rather than shrunk.

According to Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, the county has zero dollars to put toward the project.

It looks like developers, with the county's backing, will not be happy until the whole Grove is paved over.

At a performance last week at GablesStage, Joe Adler gave a speech about the Coconut Grove Playhouse and talked very glowingly about County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and made Miami Mayor Suarez out to be the bad guy. Dirty politics at the theater. What next? The interesting part about all of this is that in the end, Adler may be out no matter which plan ends up being the implemented at the Playhouse. And if the City's plan goes through, he certainly killed his chances of running that.

Here is the 62 page lawsuit if you would like to read it.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talking about same old same old .. here we go again around the same circles chasing our tails. This ongoing feud between the two mayors is ridicules and the people that are affected are the residents of the Grove. Mayor Suarez says the County has no money to fund a playhouse but doesn't offer any other solution. This infighting needs to stop and someone .. anyone .. needs to step up with a viable plan to build a theater on this site. The Plan isn't going to please everyone but it needs to happen or else we are just going to continue to have a dilapidated building on the corner for the foreseeable future.

June 20, 2019 10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw attorney David Winker is representing a couple residents in the West Grove next to the Playhouse. Hopefully he can do what he did to Jorge Mas and kicking ULTRA off Virginia Key with his lawsuits- shine a light on these bullies. The only way to stop a bully is to hit back hard.

June 20, 2019 10:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's such a shame it has come to this, but Gimenez seems to be racing to tear down the Playhouse. I'm glad Winker is after Gimenez on this. I predict he beats Gimenez in court and then Gimenez will finally be forced to negotiate with the City in good faith and we can get to a win-win for everyone, including residents.

June 20, 2019 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Barbara Lange said...

The county doesn’t have a dime in this project.

Gimenez’s Plan is using the $20 million funds from the better communities bond issue, for his proposed new theatre. The $20 million was specified it would be used to restore the historic Coconut Grove Playhouse building.

There is an MOU between the county and the Miami Parking Authority (MPA) which states, MPA will pay for the restoration of the façade of historic the Playhouse, the parking garage, the retail and the office space. Another slap in the face of City of Miami, is all profits from the commercial project go to the county and FIU. How the MOA agreed to such a bad deal is anyone’s guess.

If the business community in Coconut Grove thinks the garage is going to solve their parking problems, after the sale of Oak garage. Think again. There are about 60 extra spaces in the proposed garage. So the $3 million BID contribution costs about $50,000 per space.

June 20, 2019 3:50 PM  
Anonymous J. Williams said...

Don't forget, Mayor Suarez is ALSO for paving over Melreese.

June 20, 2019 4:38 PM  
Blogger sunn said...

we need to PAVE OVER the Mayor

June 20, 2019 5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's time for anyone & everyone who's has a strong heartfelt passionate love of our unique Coconut Grove Playhouse and the Grove to take just a second to consider the following. It's free, potentially powerful leads to an appeal. Google: Amicus Curiae, Friend of the Court, the filing of a brief with easy to follow rules. In my opinion, the Playhouse was always a financial failure. BUT, it is the ONLY remaining icon aside from a very few old wood row homes scattered about the Grove. An intelligent brief, eloquently constructed, i.e., ELOQUENTLY CONSTRUCTED, and SIGNED by qualified Black Bahamian's and others who want to see something of the OLD GROVE survive. This brief must presented by people who live & reside in the Grove. Judges give weight to such briefs made by the people. Jobie Steppe

June 20, 2019 8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, I read through the County’s pleading, all of it. Yes, long, but seemingly well-reasoned on the relevant facts and law. It will be interesting to read the city’s responsive pleading.
This is really about the playhouse and what is fundable and and what are good preservation sensitivities in the context of actual historic significance and viable use. Buildings were built for uses in the first place, modified for updated uses or repurposed to meet contemporaneous needs. The playhouse should not be a battleground for all that is perceived wrong about Miami. We need to stay focused on this project and the issues relevant to this property in our community.
Personally, I want a smaller theatre there with the significant portions of the facade preserved and parts of the original theater nicely incorporated in the new room. I’m ready to see some plays at a new smaller venue, not a boring cold remote room that will struggle financially or play to unfilled seats. And without future complaints about more traffic surges.

June 21, 2019 8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is the rest of the country can figure out how to restore historic buildings, yet Miami’s first inclination is to tear it down?

June 23, 2019 12:11 PM  

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