The project includes retail (almost the amount of total retail on Miracle Mile), a cinema, gym, office space, and a hotel and residential component. Height restrictions in the Gables are maximum 16 stories, but Agave has requested to build 19 stories. This 6.72 acre project is surrounded mostly by single-family residential homes that are dwarfed by this grossly out of scale project.
With recent staffing cutbacks by the City Commission at the Fire Department, will public safety be compromised? Never mind the shortage of parking of approximately 651 parking spaces, the amount of ever-precious water this project will require or the green space that will truly be in the public realm.
“It gets curiouser and curiouser” and down the rabbit hole we go... when you read Mayor Jim Cason’s campaign report. Items 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 10, are ALL from Agave owned companies. Item 7 is from the construction company hired to do the job. And yet another $5000 is from Armando Codina who also has a development project in the pipeline. That’s $14,000 dollars from two developers with a lot to gain from a Cason re-election.
Will money buy this election? It’s up to us the voters on April 14th to say no to this out-of-scale, out-of-character development by sending Jim Cason into retirement.
Maria Anderson - Former Commissioner Coral Gables
Letter to the Editor:
Greed in the Gables
On March 25 the first commissioner’s public hearing was held for the largest and densest mega-block project ever proposed in the history of the city of Coral Gables that is not “as-of-right”. The proposed project, called the Mediterranean Village, covers 7 acres of land flanked by Ponce De Leon on the west, Galiano on the east, Malaga on the south, and Sevilla on the north. At the hearing, The Mediterranean Village developers, Agave Company, rebutted by saying that they were men of honor and that they deserved to be approved because they had spent three years in the approval process.
There is no honor in a company that is worth hundreds-of-millions of dollars and purchased about 70% of the land at 50% discount during the Great Recession, and proposes to build almost double the amount of square feet that is allowed by right. Moreover, The Mediterranean Village is not congruent with the city’s historic character because it’s unreasonable in size, scope, and scale; and its uses are economically and urbanistically questionable.
Additionally, this project has taken three years in the pipeline, and has cost the city hundreds of staff work-hours because of its unreasonable and unprecedented requests. For instance, it proposes that the city vacates alleys to developers and permits higher heights than what the code allows. Alleyways are historic and they belong to the people. It is unheard of that residents will ask the city to build larger and taller homes than they are legally allowed to do; and, it is also inconceivable that residents will be granted requests to vacate public city alleys to be able to build more in their private properties.
There is also zero honor in the commissioners who have led developers to create an unprecedented McProject that sets new standards in height and density just for their own self-interests. Greed and not honor runs our city. On April 2, the Commission will meet to deliberate on the approval of this project. Let's stop this project the way it’s being proposed and let’s take our city back from special interests on Election Day.
Maria Cristina Longo
Coral Gables Resident