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Front Page » Business & Finance » Big changes coming at CocoWalk

Big changes coming at CocoWalk

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Written by on February 9, 2016

Big changes coming at CocoWalk

Last spring’s purchase of the CocoWalk shopping and entertainment complex by investors Michael Comras, Grass River Property and the Federal Realty Investment Trust is a sign of Coconut Grove’s resurgence and a brighter future ahead, said Mr. Comras, a principal of the Comras Company.

“We have the best year-round demographics in the state,” he said, because the Grove has the ability to draw shoppers who live nearby and also from Pinecrest, Coral Gables, Key Biscayne and other affluent areas. In addition, parents bring about 6,000 students to attend private and public schools in the Grove every weekday, creating another group of potential consumers of goods and services.

New residents are coming to the Grove, as well. “Terra is doing two terrific residential projects nearby,” Mr. Comras said, referring to the Grove at Grand Bay and Park Grove, both of which are to be completed within three years.

The Sapient-Nitro advertising agency also has moved into the former Mayfair shopping center, bringing about 600 employees into to the building, which also has co-sharing space.

“These are all positive things for traffic generation,” Mr. Comras said.

The investors are considering various uses for the CocoWalk property, which has “good bones,” Mr. Comras said, and they will have formulated a plan within 60 to 90 days.

“We are knee-deep in an extensive planning process,” he said. “We are talking to the community. We want whatever we do there to resonate. CocoWalk should cater to the people who live and work in the area, who didn’t have sufficient offerings before.”

Meanwhile, the new owners have temporarily rented six vacant spaces to “pop-up” tenants that might want to eventually become permanent, he added.

“We’re getting a lot of interest from retailers,” Mr. Comras said, reminiscent of the time 15 years or so ago when the Grove was in its heyday, before South Beach and other trendy spots grabbed the crown.

He sees the future for retail in the Grove being contemporary fashion, epitomized by a lease he negotiated at 3401 Main Highway for a retail outlet of Kit and Ace, a high-end clothing company owned by the wife and son of Chip Wilson, the founder of lululemon. Kit and Ace also has a shop in Wynwood; the two stores are the company’s first in Florida.

That is the sort of tenant that will bring a new, hip generation into the area, Mr. Comras said. “When we make CocoWalk and Coconut Grove a part of people’s daily lives, we will have achieved success.”

16 Responses to Big changes coming at CocoWalk

  1. Mary Louise Young

    February 11, 2016 at 9:43 am

    Very exciting. Get some good restaurants and some local designers as well! Mary Louise Desugns here! Disrinctive fashion jewelry!

  2. Blanche

    February 11, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    What marvelous news. Please keep movies. My fav!!!!

  3. E

    February 11, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    I don’t buy it. You have Wynwood now. The young crowds are looking for spots with good music, a fun bar, free to get in and something to eat. The Grove had it’s glory days, I don’t see it coming back to life to how it once was.

  4. Jackie caso

    February 11, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    We love going to the grove to hear music and have drinks. We leave by the Falls area. We go 3 to 4 times a month or we use to. The last times we have gone there has been no music. Can’t wait for something to change. Jackie

  5. B

    February 12, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    WE NEED A PUBLIX!

  6. Carol

    February 13, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    Don’t turn it into Brickell. Already a good start for that with the massisve, wall to wall high rises on Bayshore.

  7. andrea

    February 15, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    Nice neighborhood restaurants with terraces!!! (no franchises) and music !!!
    good stores!!!

  8. Paul

    February 15, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    Please bring back the groove to the Grove. National chains that are available everywhere else won’t work (Chilis anyone? Miami Subs?). To be a destination it has to be unique, otherwise, why not just go to Kendall Drive?

  9. Mel

    February 18, 2016 at 12:17 am

    I go to the Grove for the restaurants, to have a drink and listen to some live music. Please don’t turn this into a large chain retail(s) space.

  10. Nancy

    February 18, 2016 at 1:15 am

    Free parking please

  11. Pam E

    February 18, 2016 at 2:11 am

    Music !!! Rock and roll to dance to . Jazz club. Piano bar . How about a fudge, candy , ice cream parlour similar to the great one in Naples, FL . A Pier One type of furniture store. Hallmark store . Casual Cuban restaurant . Dance studio Art studio small bowling alley
    Love love love living in the Grove!!

  12. kim

    February 18, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    please open a publix or windxie

  13. Joy

    February 22, 2016 at 8:40 am

    Cafe Tu Tu tango again pls. This brought Art and music in the area.

  14. Roxana Mila

    March 2, 2016 at 11:35 am

    Please keep the integrity of the GROVE, it doesn’t have to be South Beach or Mary Brickell, it’s the Grove. Bring back the playhouse!!!

  15. Tane Ramundo

    March 2, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    I love the Grove and I would love to see it thrive once again. Been part of the scene since the 70’s either for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just nightclubbing. My favorite place to take a lazy bike ride or a stroll around town or the Marina. I am very excited about the concept.

  16. Nigel

    March 8, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    Why do the words “high end” mean successful? If anything, its exclusive. Its serving a very small number projected to seem larger than it is because of the media that wants us all to be high end materialistic slaves. When the economy crashes again, these silly superficial paradigms will again show themselves for what they are worth, nothing. Bring bck the humanity to the Grove. That is what made it special.

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