Coconut Grove comes back (again)

Real estate cycles are nothing new in Miami, so it’s only fitting that one of the City’s most historic neighborhoods has seen its fair share of ups and downs over the years.

Having spent two decades being overshadowed by other neighborhoods that have popped up around town, Coconut Grove, Miami’s original Bahamian settlement and the community’s bohemian heart (don’t confuse Bahamian and bohemian!), is once again on the upswing.

New businesses are opening their doors, luxury condos are racing skyward and locals are returning to one of Miami’s most beloved neighborhoods after years of being crowded out by tourist buses.

The news that a joint venture partnership led by Federal Realty acquired CocoWalk for a cool $87.5 million came with a realistic acknowledgement of the property’s shortcomings and a desire to engage the neighborhood in creating a long-term vision for redevelopment.

Put simply: CocoWalk’s days as a black hole for tourists seem to be numbered, which is good news considering the area’s population is about to get a boost.

Two of Miami’s most talked-about residential condo projects – Bjarke Ingels’ twisty-turny towers of Grove at Grand Bay and the Rem Koolhaas-designed Park Grove – are on the rise nearby. The two developments, courtesy of Terra, are adding a jolt of eye-popping design to the Grove’s bay front.


In the historic West Grove district, a mixed-income apartment complex called Gibson Plaza marks the area’s first ground-up residential development in decades. The $22 million project, a collaboration between Pinnacle Housing Group and the Coconut Grove Collaborative Development Corporation, will include affordable and market rate apartments under one roof.

Residents of these buildings have a lot to be excited about.

A new seven acre waterfront park is under development directly across the street, the long-awaited revival of the historic Coconut Grove playhouse is in the works, and new outposts of local favorites Harry’s Pizzeria and Panther Coffee are on the way.

In a City that’s growing at fever pitch, it’s refreshing to know that authentic neighborhoods are still in demand among residents, visitors and even inbound investors. Here’s hoping the Grove’s comeback stays true to its historic roots.