After Completing New $37 Million Clubhouse, Riviera Country Club Wants To “Go Cheap” On Commitment To City

Ariel Fernandez

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The Riviera Country Club, an exclusive members-only club that does not allow Coral Gables residents access unless invited by a member, is asking the City of Coral Gables to allow for it to go back on its commitment regarding the sidewalk and road construction in order for the Club to save money.

The Club spent upwards of $37 million on building its new clubhouse, however, they now want to take a cheap route when it comes to construction and maintenance of the pathway its patrons will use to cross Blue Road.

At the March 9th City Commission meeting, the Commission discussed the requested changes by the Riviera County Club. “The request is to change the paving material at the main entrance on Blue Road, from concrete pavers to asphalt; change the crosswalks from concrete pavers to thermo-plastic paint; change concrete pavers on the east and west parking lot entrances with Coral Gables beige concrete.”

The Club had requested the City’s permission in its original plans in 2016, to allow for use of concrete pavers to create a crosswalk from their parking lot across Blue Road up onto their property. They had also requested the use of pavers for the creation of sidewalks. As part of the request, the Club had agreed to maintain the pavers. This was all part of the Club’s full application that included the approval of its new clubhouse.

The clubhouse was completed in December of 2018. This final leg of the project has been stalled since then.

During this time, the Club’s representative stated at the Commission meeting, that they had presented plans which Miami-Dade County approved excluding the concrete pavers and using standard asphalt and concrete for the road and sidewalk respectively. They admittedly did so without consulting the City and knowing their prior approval by the City required the use of pavers.

When pressed by the Commission, the representative of the Club stated that the County would allow the revision of the permit to include pavers as the City’s approval showed, but that the Club is seeking for the City to allow the change, in order for the Club to save money.

Gables Insider has learned that the Club currently has a waiting list to become a member and charges between of $50,000 to $110,000 for induction fees plus its annual membership fees of upwards of $10,000.

Mayor Vince Lago asked that they “stop holding the neighborhood hostage,” and finish the project as soon as possible, as the neighbors and the City have waited long enough.

In a shocking attempt to force the Commission’s hand, the representative of the Club said the Commission should approve their changes or the denial would prolong the time this project would take to complete. He was clear, although they have an agreement with the City, now that they have completed their $37 million facility, they do not want to pay for the placement and maintenance of the pavers as was required by the City in order to approve their entire application.

The Commission decided to pass a motion reaffirming the requirement that the project remain as proposed when it comes to the pavers.

The item will come before the Commission again at the March 29th Commission meeting.

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20 thoughts on “After Completing New $37 Million Clubhouse, Riviera Country Club Wants To “Go Cheap” On Commitment To City

  1. Dear Mr Froman, you are utilizing this platform for your bigoted comments. I take offense to both of your statements. The raft you are referring to was called PanAm. That is the way the Cuban Americans arrived here in the late 1950’s and early 60’s. I am surprised you are even commenting on Gables Insider! Did you know Ariel is also Hispanic? The article refers to the Riviera Country Club wanting to alter the original approved plans and that’s it. You try and have yourself a great day!

  2. Some of you are missing the point. The City granted permits based on the presented plans. That’s when the request to make any changes should have been addressed, but perhaps they would not have been able to proceed with the plans! So they went ahead and built everything they were ok with and pushed aside what they didn’t want to do. Very cleverly, they thought, they went to Miami-Dade to get their way! Well, that didn’t go as expected! And now, four years later, the chickens have come to roost. Let’s hope that our elected officials stay strong and force them to finish the project as approved! We expect nothing less!

  3. The club is focused on bar buy outs and willing to live with construction site driveways. Be a good neighbor!

  4. The surface change/ special paving at the street would slow traffic down and thus provide more SAFETY for club members & neighbors.
    What exactly is the difference in price for the revision? If the club is special & for special people, then it should have “special” not cheap paving at it’s main entrance. Amusing comments from my neighbors. Yes, there was a better mix & more well mannered people of both Anglo & Hispanic heritage in the Gables/ Miami. Sad that many Cubans or Cuban Americans would want to belong to the club that rejected them. I’m sad that my fellow gringos/ crackers don’t want to learn Spanish. Speaking another language is an asset & opens many doors. The Cubans have been here for 50 years and over 120 years in Tampa. Bilingual education would be best for everyone; so we can curse back in the other person’s tongue.

  5. I’ve seen more Class at Shortys BBQ. The new clubhouse is amazing but the members are Nouveau riche immigrants that don’t know how to smile or say thank you, let alone speak english.

  6. Riviera isn’t asking residents to pay for anything. They are asking for a far more practical road solution. A road is a road. It should be asphalt, not brick pavers. Seems to me the City is the one doing the “sticking.” And by the way: A. There are no ballrooms. B. It has nothing to do with snobbery or people off a raft. C. Maybe you’d like to know the Club was closed two weekends this past month for bar mitzvah’s D. There are numerous people of color. That ended eons ago. Different people and different world. Many silly comments above.

  7. I don’t understand how a crowd of people who arrived on rafts can be so entitled and snobby.

  8. Riviera is, probably, still peeved at City for not allowing it to build golf cart bridge over Blue Road. Their way of getting back, not lack of money.

  9. I have enquired several times about the repaving of Blue Road after the construction was completed. I still have not received a reply from the city and now know why. RIV – time to pay your dues!

  10. Actually, it is a good idea for residents. I don’t want to drive my car over brick pavers.

  11. The old developer switcheroo. Promise the authorities anything needed to get the project approved then start nickel and dimeing everything away. Surprised they just didn’t go ahead and install whatever they liked and then begged for forgiveness.

  12. The club has massive ballrooms, and will not host a single charity or non-profit for galas to help raise money for their community. WORST country club ever- Greedy greedy greedy on all accounts. Terrible community partners.

  13. How about letting them change the pavers and paint to concrete and plastic, but require them to open the course and facilities to gables residents at the same rate that members’ guests have to pay. If we are subsidizing the place, we should be able to use it.

  14. The Riviera Country Club can refuse membership for anyone, even residents. OK. But it wants the residents to pay for their facility. Not OK. They are greedy, and we are not stupid.

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