The Developer has emailed the residents of Grove Isle, bemoaning the fact that he has been unable to work with the Board of Directors of the Grove Isle Condominium Association and requesting collaboration with the Grove Isle residents.
It has been two years to the week that the Developer quietly purchased 4 Grove Isle and he can show no tangible progress regarding his project(s) for Grove Isle.
- He claims to be concerned about residents’ legal costs while he retains legal teams to undermine residents’ rights
- He claims support from a majority of residents for his plans (when the opposite is true)
- He makes no mention of the past mediation procedure during which he repeatedly failed to answer the Grove Isle Board’s questions or his attempt to get the land rezoned while repeatedly misquoting the Board’s legal opinion
- He believes that all works (Residents’ renovations and new development) should be done simultaneously without considering the logistical impossibility of this suggestion (where would we put all the trucks/building equipment?)
- He attempts to blame his newly introduced parking restrictions on the Board by citing unaddressed safety concerns two whole weeks after the fact and after having attempted to have residents’ cars towed
It is now two years to the week that the Developer purchased 4 Grove Isle, and no tangible progress has been made in the demolition of the existing hotel, spa and restaurant and the construction of ultra-luxury condominiums and new club that has been proposed in multiple versions. He claims to be concerned about the legal expenses to which Grove Isle residents have been subjected. He espouses that he has the legal right to develop his property and that the vast majority of Grove Isle residents are excited about the new development and a new club. This is in contradiction to the fact that a door-to-door survey with signatures proves that residents by a wide margin REJECT the new development.
There is no mention of the negative messages that the Developer has transmitted to the Grove Isle residents and Board. He initiated in secret an 18 story condominium tower based on his interpretation of the Settlement Agreement of 1977; during the mediation with the Condo Association initiated by Commissioner Sarnoff, the Developer secretly requested rezoning of a section of his parcel with the City of Miami so that he could construct a high-rise condominium tower (see post of 18 August 2014); most recently, he notified the Board late on a Friday afternoon that tow trucks would remove all cars from his property at 6 am on Monday—despite an easement that makes parking on his property available to the condo association residents. The tow trucks arrived with a police escort, but an injunction blocked their activity (see post of 22-23 February 2015). Is this punitive action what he means by “collaboration”? Is this developer a credible partner with whom we can build our hopes and futures on Grove Isle?
What the developer fails to acknowledge is that, absent the Settlement Agreement of 1977, he would indeed have the right to build residential structures compliant with the current zoning law, Miami 21. Rest assured, if there were no legal barriers to the development of 4 Grove Isle, it would not matter to him at all whether the residents of Grove Isle were for, against or neutral. Construction would have commenced long ago. To date, our Board and our attorneys Weiss Serota have properly pointed out to the City of Miami that (1) the Developer has no vested rights to build a fourth 18 story tower—and hence his decision to move toward a horizontal Miami 21-compliant structure; and (2) the Developer cannot move the non-conforming Club to a new location because the property is zoned T-5R—for residential use—whereas the Club is for profit and serves the public, including those on Grove Isle.
It is not certain what the next step is, but messing with City requirements for parking on the island and calling for a united effort to turn the island into a construction site for multiple years represent a bizarre strategy. In the interim, PGI is joined at the hip with the Board of Directors of the Grove Isle Condominium Association.