Andres Viglucci was spot on when he declared in his July 14 story, Redevelopment wave to hit Coral Gables, that the today’s City Beautiful “is not your grandfather’s Coral Gables.”
I read with great interest about the redevelopment wave, but while the story painted a picture of current projects planned in the Gables it overlooked the direct benefits provided by these new commercial properties and residential units. One thing I know for sure, Coral Gables is cool, especially as we continue to get younger, hipper (think Jugo Fresh) and engage with the increasingly powerful Millennial and Generation X consumers.
The hundreds of thousands of new square footage that will be built will house amazing new restaurants underscoring our recent #1 foodie community rating by Livability.com. Our retailers include everything from uniquely experiential to aspirational fashion tenants active in a global market, as well as emerging global tenants that are pull brands.
Then, there are the corporate headquarters that will join us as well, adding to the 150+ multinationals that already call Coral Gables home. New residents come next, also regarded as discriminating consumers with flourishing incomes, and employees who will add to the livelihood of our community.
The growing tax base becomes a solid win for our city. While I think grandpa may not completely understand the need for increased density in the core of our business community, his children and grandchildren who own today’s businesses certainly do. And they further understand that consumers vote with their feet — and their wallets.
The jewel of the current wave will be the Miracle Mile and Giralda Streetscape project, a $20 million makeover that will be a game-changer for our community. A long-standing priority for our chamber and partners, the project promises to put the miracle back in the mile and serve as a centerpiece and gathering place for new residents and employees searching for a great meal, the perfect gift or an amazing haircut.
When all is said and done (and built), our Coral Gables will continue to be the sparkling gem envisioned by Merrick 90 years ago. And while we often think of his grand plan as a modern day blueprint, I believe the father of the City Beautiful would be most pleased to see what the subsequent generations of Gableites have done to honor his legacy.
Mark Trowbridge, CEO and president, Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce