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Project completion

Q: When is the Miami-Dade County/FIU/GableStage project scheduled to be completed?

A: The business plan (or land use plan) that is part of the lease approved by the State of Florida Cabinet, the FIU Board of Trustees and the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners stipulates that the project shall be finished by 2022; however, the County anticipates completing the project earlier for the FY2020-21 theater season.


The real deadline

Q: What are the project deadlines in the lease between the State and the County and FIU?

A: The County is on track to complete the project by 2022 which is the required completion date that encompasses the overall timeline stipulated and authorized in the Business Plan.

Here is what the lease requires:

“LESSEE (the County and FIU) shall… adhere to the timetable for the capital plan as set forth in the Business Plan.”

Here is what the Business Plan says (emphasis added):

“The preliminary timetable for this work is contingent on variables ranging from the time necessary for the variety of necessary governmental approvals (ranging from County contracts for architectural and construction   services   to municipal   reviews   for historic preservation, permitting and inspections) to unforeseen existing site conditions and weather factors. Typically, capital projects consist of the following phases (with broadly approximate time periods for each phase):

Competitive solicitation for and approval of architectural and engineering services (6 to 12 months);
Planning and design phase (18 to 24 months);
Competitive bidding for construction (6 to 12 months); and
Permitting, construction and commissioning – this depends on what the design  phase generates  for  the  project  and  the  response  from  the  selected  contractor  for  how  long construction  will  take;  for  example,  work  with  an  existing  structure  on  the  site,  new construction and the integration of these elements all can impact the construction timeline (36 to 60 months).”


Hurdles ahead

Q: What hurdles are ahead for the project?

A: While many obstacles have been cleared to allow significant progress, many steps remain, including but not limited to the following:

  • Prevailing in the appeal by two citizens of the Historic and Environmental Preservation Board’s approval of the project’s Certificate of Appropriateness – the City of Miami Commission is scheduled to hear the appeal on December 14, 2017, 2:00 pm;
  • Finalizing a Memorandum of Understanding with MPA regarding the terms of our partnership in developing the garage and related development;
  • Obtaining State approval for the development of the garage and related development;
  • Identifying a satisfactory developer/operator for the garage, residential and retail components;
  • Regulatory reviews from various City of Miami review boards, including obtaining a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Historic and Environmental Preservation Board; and
  • Successfully completing a competitive bid process to identify a capable contractor with experience building complex projects.


The project continues to progress after the City Commission’s recent action

Q: What is the impact of the December 14, 2017 action of the City Commission on the appeal that overturned the action of its own Historic and Environmental Preservation Board?

A: We continue moving forward, implementing the funded and County, FIU and State approved plan that is well underway (currently at the 50% construction document phase and beginning to undergo regulatory agency reviews) for returning great theater to Coconut Grove.

Please see The Miami Herald news report for an account of the City Commission’s action at

In summary, on a motion by Commissioner Ken Russell, the City of Miami Commission voted 3-to-2 to overturn the near unanimous vote of their own Historic and Environmental Preservation Board (HEPB). The HEPB’s positive vote in April 2017 was in support of the County’s submitted master plan concept for the Coconut Grove Playhouse.

We are waiting for clarification and confirmation of the specific action taken by the City Commission and once we have the official account, we will convey an update with the new conditions imposed by the City Commission on the Playhouse project.

How to stay in touch with progress

Q: How can I stay in touch with progress on the project?

A: Sign up here for e-progress reports provided by the Department of Cultural Affairs or go to the Department’s web site at where all prior progress reports can be seen. You can also receive regular project updates from GableStage on social media at:



Instagram: @GroveStage



These are the authoritative sources for facts, information and progress updates about the project and the ongoing work of the professional teams engaged in the return of great theater to the Grove and the Coconut Grove Playhouse.


The Facebook page “Save The Coconut Grove Playhouse” is not associated with the Miami-Dade County/FIU/Gablestage project in any way.

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