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Naughty or Nice

Home Depot Presents Two Plans to Skeptical Coconut Grove Residents

By Mario Martinez
Staff Writer



Home Depot representatives revealed their preliminary plans for the Grove Gate shopping center to a room full of anxious residents, during a Coconut Grove Village Council meeting Tuesday night.

For months Coconut Grove villagers have been concerned about a Home Depot store being constructed in their area, fearing “big box” development projects will ruin the area’s quality of life.

So it was a standing-room-only crowd Jeffrey Berkow, attorney for Home Depot, addressed, informing them that although his client submitted the plans to the building department for a 135,000-square-foot store, the company did not wish to build it — unless they had to.

“It’s not what we hope to build,” said Berkow. “But, it is permitted as of right. It’s our fallback position.”

Instead, Berkow said they wanted to construct a Grove-friendly version of the store at the former site of the Kmart at Bird Avenue and McDonald Street.

The building that Home Depot would like to put up was designed by Max Strang, an architect with experience building in the Grove. That design includes a 25,000-square-foot garden center and an 85,000-square-foot store with an additional 15,000-square-foot mezzanine. Strang’s plans also feature 25,000 feet for a grocery store, so neighboring residents still have a market they can walk to.

Strang’s sketches were well received by both the village council and residents who felt that the design was considerate of neighbors. Particularly appreciated: A plan that forces delivery trucks and semitrailers to enter and exit along U.S. 1 and landscaping in keeping with the greenery the Grove is known for.

Nonetheless, Groveites could not help but wonder how much would change from sketch to construction.

“My concern is that [Strang] will lose control after he sold the community on the project,” said Grove businessman and council member David Collins, who openly questioned how much input the architect would have on the final construction. “They’re selling us on Strang and he’s not going to be there.”

Collins also questioned the results of a traffic flow study Home Depot conducted that, according to Berkow, found the store would not adversely affect traffic in Coconut Grove.

“That is a ludicrous comment. It doesn’t make any sense at all,” Collins said about the findings, arguing it was impossible a store of that size and popularity would not attract more visitors into the Grove.

Grove residents were also skeptical about the retailer’s intentions and were more than willing to say so. “We can all agree those were very pretty pictures,” said Marc Sarnoff, chairman of the One Grove Alliance about Strang’s sketches. “But there is an impressive gulf between what Home Depot says [it will] build and what it’s going to build, the design versus the end result.”

Grove First activist Mel Meinhardt agrees that it is hard to determine Home Depot’s intentions from preliminary renderings. “I don’t know [if it will be built] because it was just a sketch,” said Meinhardt. “The history that we’ve seen in North Miami [would] indicate that there will be changes.”

Meinhardt said it was important to have details worked out in writing rather than depend on well-meaning promises. “It’s not enough to trust the good intentions of current city officials, current Home Depot officials or even Grove residents because those intentions might change when city managers and officials change,” said Meinhardt. “It’s not enough to take someone’s word.”

Still, he said he remained optimistic and was encouraged by the continued resident turnout. “To once again overfill City Hall with people who really care about this issue says a lot about the staying power of our fight,” he said. “I think they have made it clear that size does matter. It’s not an issue about Home Depot as a company; it’s about all the effects that store will have on our neighborhood.”

Kevin Workman, Home Depot’s Florida real estate manager, told the crowd that his company has every intention of making its move into the Grove a positive experience for everyone involved and that the needs of the residents have not been ignored by Home Depot.

“Residents were worried about losing their grocery store, so we included one in our plan that’s bigger than the one they have now. We’re listening to the residents,” said Workman. “We will continue to do so.”

Comment? Contact the author at [email protected].



:sleepy:
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
after the upper eastside and pincrest i swear the groove has the most nimbyist people around there never happy!
 

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i spend most of my time in the grove, and usually disagree with the nimbys every change i get... i mean shit, luk at my handle... but i dont want a fukin homedepot in the middle of the grove... and totally agree with the residents that it would destroy the area...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
nimbyhater said:
i spend most of my time in the grove, and usually disagree with the nimbys every change i get... i mean shit, luk at my handle... but i dont want a fukin homedepot in the middle of the grove... and totally agree with the residents that it would destroy the area...
i disagree with you,you're pretty nimbyistic yourself(protecting old structures,preferring parks,not wanting a new shopping center,etc

also the groove residents already have an ugly shopping center there they should be lucky to get a developer in there to redo it.

give me some reason why this homedepot will destroy the grove give me 5 good reasons.......go i'm waiting
 

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Savior of Gondor
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build the home depot in uptown
 

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dude, its a simple question of aesthetics... the grove has a certain feel to it... a certain environment that makes it the grove, not just another neighborhood... the same way the gables is the gables, or the beach is the beach... i am all for development, but good development... supporting parks, buidligns of historical significance, and not wanting crappy shopping centers is not being a crazy nimby, its supporting good development, not shit ass generics, which is what all shopping centers, and those crap ass villas that theyre puttin up all over the grove are, u wanna build a huge ass building next to the park, 1920's building, fine by me

now, if they wanted to build say a tall ass condo tower in the middle of the grove, id be all for it (assuming the design wasnt total crap)... but this is a relatively established, moderately urban area of historical significance that in no way is benefitted by a building that one can find in cookie cutter kendall 20 minutes south on us-1

u want me to just list 5 reasons, im not gonna, and u think uve won, cause all i have is one reason

it just doesnt belong, plain and fukin simple

would u build wachovia in the middle of south beach? would you build a subdivison on brickell ave? certain areas warrant certain development, and the grove is simply not where a home depot should b...

the fact that theres an ugly shopping center there should make us want to keep it there and support it being reoccupied? if u live next to a shit box apartment building... and every1 moves out, and it stays abandoned for a year or so, do you rejoice when a buncha bums move back in?

it just doesnt belong
 

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May need one in Overtown, lots of work needs to be done to fix up that area. Could come out with a catchy slogan like "Overtown, needs about 6 million gallons of paint, but its nice"
 

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I just don't understand the difference between the KMart that was already there and a Home Depot. Both were big box stores. Losing the only grocery store in town would suck but Home Depot said they will include a grocery store in the new building. I could see if it was replacing some quirky grove shops with a Home Depot but its not, its replacing a big Kmart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
the groove,what can i say

i love the way everyone that lives in the groove considers it such a nice quaint place.which is total crap.i don't see anyone complaining about some of the other developments that have happened in the groove and i can name many which are worse than this one.atleast this homedepot won't be destroying historic structures and won't cause to much of a traffic problem becasue its right by US1 and kmart was already there.

nimbyhater"the groove has a certain feel,and homedepot will destroy that"

hahaha,what a queer as statement......you sound just like all those groove first people, i find it funny how the groove even made the city create a new law to restrict the size of retail in the groove,its like homedepot is there were worst nightmare.

i will agree that i wouldn't want to see some 200,000ft home depot but they're proposing a smaller one and yet you guys still dislike it and what pisses me off most is that you guys refer to traffic ever chance you get,that homedepot is right on us1 not some little street.

and just to advise you guys i lived in the groove 4years and now in gables.so i wouldn't care to see a homedepot in uptown
 

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I would think Home Depot would create less traffic than a Kmart (except when a hurricane is approaching and there is a mad run on plywood). Its far less traffic than a grocery store would generate.
 

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rider_of_rohan said:
build the home depot in uptown
I agree with Rider of rohan :) , build the Home Depot at the Midtown Shops, that will bring more customers in there to buy more condos to build out all 10 towers sooner than 12 years, lol. :)
They can shop and buy at the same time, also there's a huge parking garage going up first at the corner of miami ave and N.E. 36 th st., thats what all the pillars are for, its a garage, lol. :cheers:
 

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It honestly would be better in an area like uptown, crist folks who do you think is going to work in the place anyway? Sure wont be the people from the grove. Places like Uptown need the development and the jobs more, and a store like this would bring people in from areas around it. The grove doesnt need or want this store, why fight about it. And yes it would creat less traffic than a grocery store would, but lets be honest we all need a grocery store, we dont all need a home depot (PS. Menards is bettter :D. Do they have those in Florida?
 

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rider_of_rohan said:
It honestly would be better in an area like uptown, crist folks who do you think is going to work in the place anyway? Sure wont be the people from the grove. Places like Uptown need the development and the jobs more, and a store like this would bring people in from areas around it. The grove doesnt need or want this store, why fight about it. And yes it would creat less traffic than a grocery store would, but lets be honest we all need a grocery store, we dont all need a home depot (PS. Menards is bettter :D. Do they have those in Florida?
I've never heard of Menards, at least here in Texas. I know for sure Lowe's is better than Home Depot. I can't wait for H-E-B to enter the Florida grocery market, especially Miami's :-D. It would be SO neat if Miami got the HEB Central Market -- the best of all grocery stores that I've seen. I know that when I move to Miami, it'll be one of the things I'll miss. That and Eatzi's.

Central Market
http://www.centralmarket.com/cm/cmAbout.jsp (click on the departments to see the pictures in each of them :p)

Eatzi's
http://www.eatzis.com/ (unfortunately I don't see good pictures of this one... Probably will need to google it.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
rider_of_rohan said:
It honestly would be better in an area like uptown, crist folks who do you think is going to work in the place anyway? Sure wont be the people from the grove. Places like Uptown need the development and the jobs more, and a store like this would bring people in from areas around it. The grove doesnt need or want this store, why fight about it. And yes it would creat less traffic than a grocery store would, but lets be honest we all need a grocery store, we dont all need a home depot (PS. Menards is bettter :D. Do they have those in Florida?

actually uptown already sorta has one, theres one i believe at about 105st,and i wouldn't be surprise to see one get built at the new bayview market.and there were looking at shops at midtown for awhile.
and in my opinon this store isn't really in the grove,the grove for me doesn't start at southdixie-us1 it begins further down.

some of max strangs work,my parents actually know him personally he and his wife are really nice .
strangarchitects.com
 

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Designer shows ideas for Coconut Grove Home Depot
An architect for Home Depot has unveiled the design for the home supply store's contested location planned for the site bordered by South Dixie Highway, Bird Road and 32nd Avenue, in Coconut Grove.


The designer, Max Strang Architecture, has created a two-story building design with floor-to-ceiling windows and a metal roof. Unlike most Home Depot stores, the design does not call for a contractor loading area.

"As a resident and working professional in Coconut Grove, I am personally committed to helping Home Depot deliver a unique building that preserves the neighborhood's character and does not impose upon the village," said Max Strang, founder and principal of Max Strang Architecture. "Ultimately, I believe that an appropriate, custom-designed store will be a positive addition and convenient resource for the community."

That well-heeled community will also find a mezzanine level with high-end décor and sample showrooms.

The design also calls for all of Home Depot's commercial deliveries to be along U.S. 1, not the nearby residential neighborhood.

The plan also includes 25,000 square feet of grocery store space to house an expanded Milam's Market to be served by a two-level parking deck. One of the concerns residents had voiced about the Home Depot project was that it would push out the grocery store.

Finally, the Strang design calls for a community park along Bird Road to incorporate many trees already on the property.

However, the plan is not yet final. Max Strang Architecture said it is still making adjustments based on input from traffic engineers and the City of Miami Planning Department.


http://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/stories/2005/04/25/daily27.html
 

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Have you seen Strang's office on Grand Ave? It's an abomination. I'd hate to see what a 85,000 sq ft shotgun shack looks like. His philosophy is interesting enough, but I'm not buying it.

I'm morally opposed to Home Depot coming to the groove, but this is a dead big box already. If they can get it rebuilt, that'd be spiffy.


and Dave 8721... don't know if you get to make it to a local home depot down here, but they are madhoues, inside and out. These things produce tons of traffic.
 
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