As a Miami local one can’t help but have visited Coco Walk in the heart of Coconut Grove at least once. For years it has been a staple for tourists and locals alike, with the salsa music playing on the second floor, flashy boutiques on the first and that oh-so-fun Piano bar. Today the prime locale for the college crowd could soon be closing. Coconut Grove’s downtown gem is facing a $98 million lawsuit by banking giant Bank of America. Sadly, this is all due to another perhaps hasty financial decision that began in 2006 when PMAT Real Estate Investments bought the entertainment center. According to the South Florida Business Journal the new landlord is now facing some pretty high charges.
PMAT, based out of New Orleans, bought the complex at a rather aggressive mortgage, which has now tickled down to some high rent for the existing tenants. Can we guess what happened next? Well, the main floor shops that do decent sales, like the Gap, and the wine shop, and the surf shop, are surviving. The issue is those little shops hidden on the second and third floors that perhaps PMAT had counted on a little too much. Those shops that due to very limited foot traffic have come and gone have put Coco Walk in jeopardy, making it difficult to meet the revenue needed for that hefty mortgage bill. Add to the mix the closing of the AMC movie theater back in September and we may very well be seeing the evolution of downtown Coconut Grove’s demise.
Not to worry kiddies, perhaps University of Miami crowd may still have a place to watch the games and bar crawl, there are plans to reopen the movie theater as a high-end Muvico in April. Let’s hope Coco Walk can hold out until then. And this is just a lawsuit; no announcement has been made to close down shop.
Then again it is a tough location to find, even for some locals, the parking is expensive and compared to the rest of the city’s seemingly never ending bar closing times-this area closes just when the parties get started at 3 a.m. And lets not even mention the stiff competition that Sunset and the Village at Merrick Park have been giving in the last few years.
Perhaps the closing for many storefronts in the adjacent Mayfair shops were already a foreshadowing of what is to come.
Via: Miami New Times