Michael Miller, Publisher

The Shops of Sunset was supposed to participate in a public hearing over at South Miami City Hall a few weeks ago to talk about their plans to build a rather large tower – some even say a massive tower – that could feature a hotel and apartments, plus lots of other really neat stuff.


For some reason, however, it looks like the developer stopped midstream and canceled their presentation, which begs the question, why?

All we really know is, the city commission can be oh-so dramatic, as it goes back and forth between being pro-development, anti-development, and then lukewarm … So right about now, my guess is that the city let it be known they may not want take on anything that might cause a stink in the community, due to the new election cycle just 13 months away.

As has been the case in this town for a while, there’s a handful of residents who step up to vote against any commissioner who would dare support a development that involves anything more than adding a bedroom on a home. So, good luck to the developer…

The Beef People

And now I hear the owner of the Winn-Dixie property on SW 73 Street is ready to move forward on development of that property. But, lordy be, here we go. Turns out, some of the folks on the commission aren’t too happy, I’m told, with the proposed height that ranges between eight and 10 stories. And by the way, I also hear the new proposal would even include a new and expanded Winn-Dixie on the ground floor. Too bad, once again, for the citizens of South Miami.

On another front, it looks like the city is moving forward on selling city hall to a developer who will tear down the existing (and rather decrepit) city hall/police station facility. They want to replace it with, among other things, a very very large senior residential community, plus some other stuff, which likely includes some new offices for city.

A Familiar Scene

But here we go again – I’ve been told that a couple of the elected officials are starting to have second thoughts on that deal, too. Drama, drama, drama…

By the way, one of the discussions included moving the police station over to the old inspection station, next door to the Post Office on 59 Place. Who knows, perhaps the city might also wind up over there. But as the saying goes, it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.

Correct me if I am wrong, but this current commission is way too old and tired – and just begging for some new life and energy. Hopefully, in 13 months, when the new election is held, it will bring us a new mayor (for sure, as the current seated Mayor is set to term out) and maybe two new commissioners. The two seats that open up due to term limits next February are those currently occupied by Josh “Marathon Man” Liebman, and “Bicycle” Bob Welsh. 

So, folks, in a twist on the immortal words of William Shakespeare, I’m here to say, “parting is NOT such sweet sorrow.” That’s because it’s time to make a difference. Let’s get busy and help make South Miami great.

Speaking of passion and drama, see “Romeo & Juliet,” Jan. 18-20, at The Barnacle Historic State Park – just down the street in Coconut Grove.

Wherefore Art Thou
Speaking of Shakespearian drama, drama, drama, there’s definitely a lot of that going on at The Barnacle Historic State Park this month, as the Florida Shakespeare Theater presents “Romeo & Juliet.”

I mean, after all, who doesn’t need a little passion, romance, and dazzling swordplay in their life?

‘Tis the season to be treated by The Barnacle Society to one of the most famous and moving plays ever written. And if you and the kids are new to the “Shakespeare in the Park” experience, then Romeo & Juliet is the perfect introduction.

It’s just a short drive over to Coconut Grove to enjoy this event, which takes place over three nights. So pack a picnic, bring your own low lawn chairs or blankets, and enjoy the show Friday and Saturday, Jan. 18-19 at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Jan. 20 at 6 p.m.

Founding Producing Artistic Director Colleen Stovall continues to promote literacy, culture, and a passion for the arts through her company’s amazing performances of the works of William Shakespeare. We’re truly fortunate to have her as a neighbor here in South Florida!

And from what I hear, the production will be true to the original script. With a full cast of professional actors and sword fighting, it will be a truly spectacular show, complete with detailed authentic costumes from the period.

Visit www.shakespearemiami.com for play information.

The Barnacle folks suggest a $2 per person donation to help with the park’s building preservation fund. And if you’re really serious, you can pay $35 for limited VIP seating.

Either way, get to the park about an hour early, to get a good spot to enjoy a picnic with some wine if you wish. The Barnacle Historic State Park is located at 3485 Main Highway. Coconut Grove, FL 33133.


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