Now, he said, it might be even smaller than 671 spaces. “I don’t think we’re going to need to build that big,” he said, adding that drawings could be available in about 10 days.
Corda also argues that the 100,000-square-foot plan will take up property that could be used as waterfront green space instead. But Sarnoff and Grove Bay principals say the footprint of the planned restaurants will be almost identical to the two restaurants there now. They call Corda’s number misleading because he is not explaining that it includes 12,000 square feet of outdoor seating on the restaurant rooftops, which the waterfront plan said the public craves.
A rehabilitated hangar in the old Pan American Airways building — a structure on the national historic registry — would take up another 23,000 square feet. The parking garage will have 40,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.
Corda also argues that the Grove Bay plan strays too far from the 2008 Sasaki waterfront plan, which calls for more green space along the water and says waterfront retail should not compete with Center Grove stores.
Yet Sasaki managing partner Mark Dawson lauded the Grove Bay plan in a letter to Sarnoff on Tuesday.
“In my initial review, I am encouraged by the proposal, it seems to have evolved the thinking and detail beyond the master plan,” Dawson wrote.
Also weighing in on the developer’s behalf was Michelle Niemeyer, a Coconut Grove attorney who lost a heated election to Sarnoff two years ago. She campaigned, in large part, on her efforts to help Sasaki create the 2008 master plan. Niemeyer said the Grove Bay plan going to voters includes all the elements of the Sasaki plan.
“They are misrepresenting the facts and pushing for a ridiculous, pie-in-the-sky vision of replacing even the part of the plan dedicated to the marina and restaurants — that people want — with open park space,” Niemeyer said of Corda and his supporters. “That conflicts with the plan and what Grove residents asked for.”