Miami-Dade County

Grove Isle resort to close amid controversy over private island's future

Grove Isle Hotel & Spa in 2011.
Grove Isle Hotel & Spa in 2011. Miami Herald File

Grove Isle Hotel & Spa will close Friday as a developer prepares to build anew on the private island. But an agreement reached Wednesday between the developer and a group of residents insures tennis courts, a pool, a club and other amenities will remain open for at least three months.

Preserve Grove Isle came to terms with Grove Isle Associates in the morning ahead of a hearing on an emergency injunction filed to stop the developer from closing down the hotel and amenities in order to build two five-story buildings on the island off Coconut Grove. Developer Eduardo Avila has been planning and pursuing the project since he bought almost half the island more than a year ago and continues to seek approval for demolition of existing structures.

His project has received plenty of push-back and resulted in multiple lawsuits. The fight over his plans recently drew the attention of Miami rapper Pitbull, who took up the Preserve Grove Isle case on Twitter.

The arrangement reached Wednesday allows Avila to close down all the amenities for 15 days, starting May 1. But he must reopen most the facilities after two weeks, and keep them open for 90 days. In the meantime, Preserve Grove Isle attorney Glen Waldman said his clients will continue fighting over a requested injunction to stop Avila from shutting down the amenities for good.

He said a resolution is expected in July or August.

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