GOB funds will help in the transformation of this local icon, built in 1926, into a 21st century theatrical venue. The plan to return great regional theater to Coconut Grove must address the structural deterioration of the building, and provide a venue capable of serving as the home for GableStage, the planned successor theater company for the Playhouse.
Project Update (September 12, 2018)
News, Rumors and the Facts
The architectural and engineering work on the Coconut Grove Playhouse is in its final stage. Bidding and construction are next. The County, FIU and GableStage are working to create a great home at the Playhouse for regional theater.
It is important to clarify the “drama” inspired by recent events and media coverage of the Playhouse.
The Project Will Be Completed on Time
Miami-Dade County strongly disagrees with the State’s contention that the project is in violation of its lease regarding the timetable for the project. The County’s responses to the State can be seen at https://miamidadearts.org/news/updates-frequently-asked-questions. The Playhouse will be completed before the lease’s deadline of 2022.
The County Will Prevail and Build a 21st Century Theater
In December 2017, the Miami City Commission partly overturned the action of its own City of Miami Historic and Environmental Preservation Board which voted to support our project. The County filed a court appeal of this City Commission action. The case was supposed to be heard on September 6; the hearing is being rescheduled by the court. As background, the City is attempting to require the County to keep the “building shell” of the existing auditorium. The County maintains that there is nothing “historic” about the completely unadorned shell of the existing Playhouse auditorium. In fact, the City’s historic designation of the property clearly said that only the façade of the front building has historic integrity. In addition, a 21st century, fully functional theater that meets current code and life safety requirements cannot fit within the existing auditorium shell. The County remains confident that it will prevail.
The County Is Working with the City on Required Zoning Approvals
At the September 5, 2018 City of Miami Planning, Zoning and Appeals Board (PZAB) meeting, the PZAB voted 5 to 3 to support the County’s technical zoning requests for the Playhouse. After the vote, all parties were informed that there needed to be a “super majority” vote, or 6 to 2, for the item to pass. City staff recommended the approval of all of the County’s zoning requests. The County is working with the City on the next steps to accomplish these zoning approvals.
We want you to know that progress is continuing on establishing the Coconut Grove Playhouse as the permanent new home for GableStage – soon to be GroveStage!
To view Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the project and a comprehensive list of all the previous updates visit: http://miamidadearts.org/coconut-grove-playhouse-updates. Please note that all earlier updates remain available on this web site and contain more details about the project and its progress.