Not even a $55 million development proposal can stave off government seizure of the Coconut Grove Playhouse now. After years of mismanagement, the state of Florida will finally take control of the historic theater in one month’s time, the Miami Herald reported. Al Dougherty, Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection deputy secretary, made the announcement this week, citing the properties extended closure – it has not been used since 2006 — and disrepair.
The state gave the theater’s non-profit board control of the theater back in 2004, but retained the right to repossess the property if it was not being properly run. The county has already earmarked some $20 million for renovating the property.
“I would hope the state can clear up the legal obstacles and give it to the county,’’ Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said. “We’re the only ones with the capacity to reopen it and bring great theater back to Coconut Grove. We’ve been stuck in the same spot for a long time, so unless something drastic happens in the next 30 days, this is probably the best course of action.’’ [Miami Herald] – Christopher Cameron