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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Our critical need for parking

The former Oak Street Garage. Now an office building.

There is a story in Miami Today about Coconut Grove's parking situation. It says that at a recent meeting, of the Miami Parking Authority, CEO Art Noriega, spoke about the need for critical parking, he said he has spoken with US Rep. Donna Shalala about building a garage near or on the Post Office property.

There was talk of this at a few meetings in 2007. It's an excellent location. But it begs the question; why did Noriega sell the Oak Street Garage to the Terra Group so that it could become an office building? And now he's begging for parking. At first I didn't see a problem because I was told it would remain a garage, "for cash flow," as I was told by David Martin of Terra. But of course it's not a garage anymore, it's an office building, which has inconvenienced traffic flow in the Grove for what seems forever as the building is being renovated. That whole Tigertail and Mary area is a mess and has been for years due to greed and selfishness.

Of course the recent removal of many on street parking spaces is not helping the parking issue around the village. It's a matter of adding a few lines in the street and poof, the spaces are gone. I wrote about it last month and showed some spaces on Grand Avenue that were removed, since then I've counted about 12 that are now gone on both sides of the street.

This image shows another area of Grand Avenue where spaces were removed in that one area. The photo was taken early on a weekend morning, so all the other spaces are open, but during the day, these blocked spaces are sorely needed.

There was a large well-attended meeting regarding parking in October 2017, but nothing has been done.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The theft of the parking garage (given to a private developer) and the loss of street parking in Coconut Grove are but two reasons local citizens look at their public officials and can’t help but believe their needs are not taken into account...only the needs of big corporate donors. (And don’t let me get started about the theft of Melrose).

Oh, and let’s add the new “high rises” that have been built and are in the process of being built in the village center. The developers found a loophole and exploited it and we have lost the beauty of our charming village. We citizens pay the taxes and watch our resources shrink. When will someone step up as our representative and just say NO!

June 12, 2019 9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A developer had offered millions to do the same thing except add retail in the front, maybe some offices on top and build a modern post office and give it as a gift to USPS, back then Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was the congress woman. 9/11 happened and all such deals involving Federal property was scrapped. If Donna Shalala is involved tie preservation of historic Coconut Grove Playhouse to this deal, that can be a winner for preservationists and the bulldozerists. Get it started, the seas are rising.

June 12, 2019 9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There appears to be some confusion in the blog piece and comments above. The Oak Street Garage will remain a garage, but will have office space built on top. Also, the County and MPA had parking lined up in the form of a garage near the playhouse...but Mayor Suarez and a vocal minority of "activists" and Ken "I'm a Big Boy" Russel recently killed that project. Either way, the future is going to be less car-centric and more focused on ride shares, scooter shares, biking, public transit, and walking. A little less parking will help expedite that shift. Perhaps the loss of parking is a good thing.

June 12, 2019 9:45 AM  
Blogger Grapevine said...

Understood, but where will the office workers park, in the street? On the roof?

When the garage was first purchased, all the parking went to the construction workers and by 9 am, the garage was closed for the day because there was no room for any more cars.

Probably the same thing will happen when all the office workers get parking decals and take up all available spaces.

June 12, 2019 10:00 AM  
Blogger Anonymous said...

Parking Garages are not the answer. Looking for a spot in a tight garage is not what people want to do when they feel like grabbing a cup of coffee, a book or a birthday cake. If it’s inconvenient to park, people find other area for shopping. I do!

June 12, 2019 10:44 AM  
Anonymous JK said...

"vocal minority of 'activists'"
Have the developers hired PR s to spread disinformation?

June 12, 2019 10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At the time Terra offered to purchase the Oak and Mary garage, Art went on and on about how there was an over abundance of parking and that this garage was not needed. So, he sold the garage and took street parking for his centralized valet parking operation and NOW he wants to cry about parking.

June 12, 2019 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@JK, while the developers may have hired PR to "spread disinformation," a recent poll revealed that a vast majority of Coconut Grove residents supported the County plan. Check it out: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/coconut-grove/article229432579.html. I imagine this will play out in the next District 2 Commission race.

Let me guess...you and the "activists" will claim that the Herald and the venerable Bendixen & Amandi firm (which conducted the poll) are wrong and that your echo chamber tells you you are right. I will save you your breath (or key strokes)...but sounds an awful lot like Donald Trump and the way he determines what are the real "facts" regardless of reality. Good luck to you!

June 12, 2019 12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Miami Herald and the Venerables doing a poll, ROFLMAO. Comparing Grovite preservationists fighting developer destruction of environment and history to a the most illustrious conman America produced, LOLOLOLOL. What a couple of dollars makes people do.

June 12, 2019 1:42 PM  
Blogger sunn said...

Even a SMALL parking garage at the PO would be a great help to the area....only 2 floor building.

June 12, 2019 4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coconut Grove movers & shakers have positioned the Grove to become pedestrian friendly walkways to the North, East, South & West and all points in & out, including all marinas, sidewalks, crossings, banks, shopping, electric scoters & bicycles, baby carriages, mass transportation & trollies. The air will be fresh & free of gasoline & diesel pollutants straight off the Atlantic Ocean for 2,000 miles allowing mango, avocado, coconut, papaya, banana trees and babies in carriages, dogs & cats, birds, squirrels & racoons to thrive. The Grove will soon be the envy of South Florida visited by 23,000,000 tourist weekly with standing room only. Also included will be sunrise to the East, a glistening Biscayne Bay, sunset to the West & subdued panoramic music piped in by our local BID. Who needs parking space?

June 12, 2019 7:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL @1:42 proving @12:01's point and does not even realize it! Facepalm!

June 12, 2019 8:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an old Groveite, and I prefer to drive anywhere other than the Grove where there is convenient parking. For those who are busy working, elderly, accompanied by kids or older parents, the "walking, jumping on a scooter or bicycle" idea is not an option, nor is waiting around for a freebie. I also can't stand seeing all our tax paid parking spaces going to multiple for-profit valets on every street. So I choose, and will continue to choose, to take my hard-earned money outside of the Grove, to the Gables, to South Miami, to anywhere I can find parking (not in a garage). Literally those are the only places I go to - to those restaurants, retail stores, book-stores, bakeries, coffee shops, movie houses, parks, gyms, and more, where I can find either a nearby lot to park in or reasonable street parking. And I avoid center grove when at all possible, though Milams, CVS, the PO, dry cleaners, Last Carrot, and Fresh Market do get my business (hint: all have accessible parking lots). I also agree that our charming village is no more thanks to the high rise condos and office bldgs crowding people out. I long ago gave up on downtown Grove.

June 13, 2019 12:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

20 years from now, someone will look around and say, there use to be a quaint little village here! Do you think we can bring it back?

June 13, 2019 8:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, People don't want garages but will use them as a last resort. People do not want to valet their car. What is needed is more street parking and the City and MPA keep taking the street parking to expand sidewalks, create loading zones and for Valet Parking. Every morning, I drive by a Valet Stand and see the two guys sitting playing on their cell phones. I hear that the City is finically supporting the program. If so, why do you need two guys sitting around doing nothing? Why not just one? Why the program at all?

June 13, 2019 10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It wasn't that long ago men, women & children walked 100% to hunt, gather & survive and Rome began constructing the 1st highways, soon followed by the industrial revolution, electricity, light bulbs, radio, TV & todays G-5 cell phones more powerful than 5-stories of football field size computers. Hell, in the last 20 years I've witnessed high tide cover the pier @ our Seminole Boat Ramp and a sailboat sitting in our Coconut Grove Bank window after Andrew, pointing towards Biscayne Bay that is void of snapper, grouper & lobster due to crud in the water. Soon, very soon, just up the hill, downtown Grove will be ocean front worth billions. Take a pill & chill. What's a few parking spaces, more or less translate into - nothing, absolutely nothing, Get your brains to focus on the BIG future reality. Jobie Steppe

June 13, 2019 5:41 PM  

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