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Front Page » Top Stories » Home Depot Seeks Approval To Build Grove Store

Home Depot Seeks Approval To Build Grove Store

Written by on April 28, 2005

A design for a smaller, friendlier Coconut Grove Home Depot at the site of a former Kmart at US 1 and Southwest 32nd Avenue is to be considered today (4/28) by Miami city commissioners.

Local architect Max Strang said the design addresses residents’ concerns about increased traffic by eliminating the chain’s traditional high-traffic features such as a contractor-loading area and an outdoor lumberyard.

"This will not a contractor store," he said. "It will carry some of the same materials, but not in the same quantities."

The site is part of a portfolio of 18 stores that Home Depot, the country’s third largest discount retailer, purchased from Kmart Holding Corp. for $271 million. Neighborhood activists have been concerned about what they term an unsustainable increase in traffic along through residential streets if the company builds a mega-store there.

Mr. Strang said his design calls for Home Depot’s commercial deliveries to be kept along US 1. He said the plan is still being fine-tuned based on continuing input from traffic engineers and the city’s Planning Department.

In addition to Kmart, the complex also contained a 21,000-square-foot Milam’s Market, which would expand into 25,000 square feet at the top level of the new building.

Home Depot would occupy 85,000 square feet on the ground floor, a 15,000-square-foot dÈcor and showroom area on the mezzanine and a 25,000-square-foot garden center.

The complex, which would include a two-level parking garage deck, is designed in to blend into the local environment using local materials, an approach Mr. Strang calls "Environmental Modernism."

"In this project we will use Miami oolite, the local limestone," he said. "In the mezzanine we’ll use a lot of glass, and it will have a pitched metal roof. We’ve included a lot of landscaping that will incorporate many of the specimen trees that currently exist on the property, and portions of the traditional blank walls will be living walls covered with native vegetation. The effect will be evocative of a modern Key West style."

Mr. Strang said preliminary presentations to community groups such as the Cocoanut Grove Village Council, Chamber of Commerce and Civic Club suggest that "a vast majority of residents are impressed by the quality and thoughtfulness of this design."