Q: What’s been done?
A: Since the Coconut Grove Playhouse failed and closed the theater’s doors, the following has been accomplished:
- Executed the Long-term Lease: the Coconut Grove Playhouse property was reverted by and returned to State of Florida ownership, and in 2013 a lease entered in to with Florida International University and Miami-Dade County as co-lessees, providing an initial 50-year term, with two 25-year renewals
- Re-confirmed $20 million in County funds: Miami-Dade County re-authorized the $20 million that had been appropriated specifically to return the Coconut Grove Playhouse to a working theater ($5 Million in County-directed revenues and $15 million in voter-approved bond funds)
- Approved a Comprehensive Business Plan for the Playhouse’s Redevelopment and Operation: a condition of and attachment to the long-term lease with the State, a detailed Business Plan addressing both construction and operations was developed, and unanimously approved by the Board of County Commissioners (BCC), the Board of Trustees of Florida International University (FIU), and twice by the Florida Cabinet and Governor
- Conducted the open, competitive selection process for architectural, engineering, and specialty consultant services conducted: the team led by Arquitectonica, which includes historic preservation architect Jorge Hernandez among a stellar list of consultants and specialists, was the highest ranked team out of nine teams competing. The contract was approved by the Board of County Commissioners on April 21, 2015. That team is contracted to provide all required architectural and engineering services from conceptual design through the completion of construction.
- Completed the Masterplanning, Schematic Design, and Design Development; and Construction Documents: through the Arquitectonica contract, in addition to architects and the historic preservation architect, specialty consultants with the following areas of expertise have been hard at work on the Playhouse project: Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, and Fire Protection Engineering; Structural Engineering and Threshold Inspection Services; Civil Engineering, Site Development, Parking Lot Design and Traffic Engineering Studies; Landscape Architecture; Theater Design and Systems; Acoustical, Sound and Communications Design and Systems; Cost Estimating; Scheduling; Building Envelope Engineering; Security; LEED/Sustainability; and Signage and Wayfinding. Among the scopes of work accomplished are: land and boundary surveying work; soil, foundation and geotechnical testing; comprehensive research and detailed measured drawings of the building’s history and historic features; historic materials testing and paint sampling; structural investigations; asbestos survey work; site masterplanning and building program verification; schematic design; design development, including detailed site plans, drawings, elevations and renderings, and technical drawings for permit review; new permit filings; traffic study; and construction documents, the basis of the construcion bid package.
What is being done now?
Q: What is being done now?
A: The Coconut Grove Playhouse project is waiting for the resolution of judicial review based on the City of Miami’s latest request for a rehearing after the Appellate Division of the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit ruled in favor of the County’s appeal of the City Mayor’s veto of the County application for a historic preservation Certificate of Appropriateness. Subsequent to the resolution of the judicial case, the County will apply to the City for a building permit.
The County has completed the City of Miami permitting and review process. The architectural and engineering drawings already have been reviewed positively by the required City's Coordinated Review Committee. On February 21, 2018, the City's Urban Design Review Board voted unanimously (6-0) to support the project. The City of Miami's Planning, Zoning and Appeals Board approved the County's application for zoning exceptions on November 7, 2018 by an 8 to 3 vote.