The Real Deal Miami

Voters to decide on Coconut Grove waterfront revival

October 21, 2013 12:00PM

From left: Renderings of Grove Bay’s Hangar 42 and Shula’s Steak House and Oceano

The fate of developer Jay Leyva’s plan for an extensive makeover of Miami’s Coconut Grove neighborhood will fall into the hands of voters come Nov. 5.

The Grove Bay development team will pay $18 million in private funds to open up the waterfront from South Bayshore Drive to Biscayne Bay, the Miami Herald reported. Part of this renewal involves saying goodbye: demolition of the former Grove exhibition center and restaurant mainstays Scotty’s Landing and Chart House. A 17-acre park will replace the center, and the Shula’s and a Peruvian seafood restaurant will fill the void of the eateries.

Another part of the plan involves the development of a three-story, 39-foot-tall municipal parking garage with 40,000 square foot of ground-floor retail. Developers, who would pay $5 million to build it, told the Herald the garage would not obstruct water views.

“Our goal from the beginning was to bring people to the waterfront,” Leyva told the Herald. “Our offices are right here, and I look out every day and see there is no one out there. We want to open it all up to the public.”

Mayor Tomas Regalado, the city commission and several advisory boards have shown support for the proposal. However, architect Charles Corda and King Mango Strut parade co-founder Glenn Terry created a political action committee to oppose Grove Bay. Some residents are concerned a casino will also be built on the site.

“They have a history of botching up public land. They’ve done such a poor job of developing the Grove bayfront in a poor and uncohesive way,’’ Terry told the newspaper. “There seems to be no appreciation for open space.” [Miami Herald]Mark Maurer