By: Ismael Rodriguez
The 198,000-square-foot iconic CocoWalk mall sitting at the heart of Coconut Grove, with its imitative Spanish architecture, rotunda and fountain entrance at Grand Avenue, is set to receive a long awaited makeover— and a new set of tenants.
New renderings of CocoWalk as revealed by its owners, Federal Realty Investment Trust, Grass River Property and Michael Comras, add a larger open-air plaza, foliage, a mini-waterfall, trees, and a modern design intended to blend with its surroundings.
Michael Comras, who is responsible for curating the restaurants, stores and boutiques in the mall, told the press that the new CocoWalk will cater to people who already live in Coconut grove instead of copying the old model of all-purpose shopping malls.
“Twenty years ago, it was all about coming to the Grove at night to play. Then South Beach got so hot, it sucked all the life out of the Grove and nobody went there anymore,” Comras told the press. “Today it’s different. We have real density in Miami now. You have all these different neighborhoods and that density causes localization. People want places where they can live and play. They want service-oriented businesses that cater to their lifestyles. That’s what we’re going to give them with CocoWalk.”
Comras also expects CocoWalk to attract high-end boutique shops and restaurants, salons, spas and gourmet markets. Some of the current tenants like Youfit Health Club, The Gap, and a 24-hour gym will stay put, while others like The Cheesecake Factory are leaving and making room for new opportunities.
Renovations will start this summer and are expected to be completed in 2018, with CocoWalk remaining open throughout.