24 Apr COCONUT GROVE STARTS TO RECOUP ITS LOST APPEAL AND SPLENDOR
April 24, 2018 – It’s been almost 20 years since the Grove lost its groove. CocoWalk used to be the place to be. If you’re lucky enough to remember the infamous Halloween bashes, you know full well what a destination it used to be at CocoWalk. If heading to the grove anytime later than 6pm you most likely had to ditch your cab by Flannigan’s on Bird and hoof it the rest of the way to join the parties.
From Thursday dime draft nights at the Hungry Sailor, to late night raves until the sun came up down in the Chili Pepper’s underground club, long-time Miami residents will share with you the fond memories of the vibrant nightlife that was Coconut Grove.
Scenes change, TuTu Tango closes, and all of a sudden frozen grain alcohol drinks at Fat Tuesdays are given the heave-ho for high-end mixology in Wynwood. Slowly, the Grove began to lose its luster. If the partying went too far, the demise and retreat from the Grove went even further.
Thankfully, over the past few years CocoWalk and the Grove, has approved plans for redevelopment and the polishing it needs with a complete overhaul and makeover.
Much of this revitalization can be attributed to the Terra Group’s developer David Martin, who purchased the old Grand Bay Hotel in 2011 for $24 million out of foreclosure with the hopes to create the jewel-like, glistening sculptural mecca that once was the Grove at Grand Bay. The 98-unit, twin 20-story development on South Bayshore Drive has completely sold out during pre-construction with exception of its $28M penthouse. With half the buyers domestic, ranging from doctors, lawyers, and CEOs to empty nesters looking to unload their Pinecrest and Coral Gables houses, this new blood pouring into the heart of Coconut Grove gives newfound energy to the once fading shopping, dining and entertainment district.
The groundbreaking of One Park Grove can also be credited with the uptick in popularity of Coconut Grove. Designed by the architecture dream team of OMA/Rem Koolhaas, the first two towers are due for completion by summer 2018, while One Park Grove, their third and final tower, has recently broken ground. Featuring a two-acre sculpture park and sprawling of 5.2-acres directly across from Biscayne Bay, One Park Grove has tapped Michael Schwartz to helm its culinary delights. Schwartz’s restaurant will make use of the Grove’s organic, Bohemian, welcoming vibe, with a casual design that will incorporate natural materials like concrete and wood into its design, with an open concept that flows into the adjoining ‘heart of the neighborhood’ park.
The Terra Group changed the skyline of the Grove, adding the “twisty towers” with sculpture parks and hopes of a greener Grove with landscaping including over 500 trees and 15,000 plants. Rooftop pools, pet spas, gym and bicycle spaces for every resident are just a few of the amenities offered in their new designs. But, at the end of the day, their developer wants to ensure that long time residents understand they respect the long standing history and the charm that has made the Grove the sought after neighborhood that it’s always been.
“The market we focus on is looking for more convenience, more efficiency and more services,” said Martin. He also made it clear that he didn’t want to ‘dilute’ the Grove, or ‘change its soul.’
So although change is just that, something new and different, perhaps in the case of the Grove, we can look forward to an infusion of the life and vibrancy of years past. Anyone who remembers what the Grove and Coco-Walk used to be, has good reason to look forward to more changes to come and the opportunity to buy and live there.