Developers Begin Tearing Down Miracle Mile

In a clear demonstration of their power over residents, developer bulldozers began leveling 385 Miracle Mile, the former home of Randazzo’s Little Italy.

The building, located across the street from City Hall, is the first to begin its planned demolition.

As reported on Gables Insider, last month, the City Commission voted 4-1 (Raul Valdes-Fauli, Pat Keon, Michael Mena and Jorge L. Fors, Jr. in favor and Vince Lago against) to up-zone Miracle Mile.

Residents had asked the Commission to wait until after the election to allow for residents to voice their opinion on the issue through their votes, but the members of the Commission supporting the matter all wanted the issue addressed prior to the election.

The reasoning is becoming more evident, as two of the remaining candidates for the April 27th runoff, Rhonda Anderson and Javier Baños, have both voiced strong opposition to the up-zoning, at several Commission meetings. Presenting Mena and Fors with the potential of becoming the minority votes on the Commission on up-zoning and overdevelopment.


42 thoughts on “Developers Begin Tearing Down Miracle Mile

  1. Guido it easier for you to move to Brickell, and let the rest of us enjoy Historic Coral Gables that we love so much and you hate…

  2. I agree 100% with Guido. Not everything is historical. I can say Miracle Mile is historically vacant and historically sad. Plus, these properties have owners. Don’t they have a say in what can be done with them?

  3. I think Randazzo’s building (and the adjacent Century XXI) was impossible to re-purpose or re-use as it had columns everywhere and even had different gound levels… If the new owners decided to demolish it to build something new for a restaurant, it probably was not fit for the next couple of decades. Let’s see the new concept and give it an opportunity.

  4. Miracle Mile used to be one of the shopping destinations of South Florida. The store fronts are functionally obsolete. Coral Gables has an imperative to homeowners and residents to upgrade that area. There have been talks of plans for years without action and finally now when we have some steps forward out of the woodwork comes these outdated ideas that everything is Historic.

    We need more leaders like Mena who championed Paseo Coral Gables. It took an outdated Holiday in with too many parking spaces and turned it into a beautiful walkable friendly community.

    People seem to forget the “The Biltmore” was created in the early year of Coral Gables and I do not think you can get a “more developer driven” visionary & high density plan like that especially considering the time it was built.

    Unfortunately, the Gables Insider used to present Gables news in a more neutral manner. Seems like now all they champion is the aging idea to return to a past that has passed; a very biased way of presenting the news instead of allowing both sides of the argument to be presented.

    FYI, I am a 50 year resident of Coral Gables that has owned and improved over 10 homes in Coral Gables while our families lived in them.

  5. The Miracle Mile vote was not an “up zone” but the opposite. The prior height was six stories, the new one recently approved brought down to three, with the fourth story recessed to allow for terraces.
    It is irresponsible of the Gables Insider to call it an up zone. It reminds me of the typical bias media, so prevalent today.

  6. Saw a comment about new mayor Lago supporting the citizens Lol what a joke this guy is an attorney that works for BDI a construction company. Note when he votes in favor of citizens the vote is 4-1, 3-2 where his vote did not matter in the outcome. The conservatives in this town want to keep it operating in the horse & buggy day of the 1920’s & don’t realize our property taxes would be even higher if that was allowed to happen.

  7. As an advocate for preserving Miracle Mile’s historic integrity, this latest demolition on Miracle Mile is one more of many in recent years in Coral Gables. In one year, over 70 properties 50 years and older have been granted demolition permits by the city. Many are already gone. Are there more “tear downs” scheduled on Miracle Mile? The issue is bigger than preserving buildings, is about preserving a quality of life in the City Beautiful. Coral Gables touts itself as a champion of sustainability yet continues its permitting of demolitions rather than advocating for a kinder, greener and healthier resolution: adaptive reuse. Why destroy to rebuild?  Instead of issuing permits to demolish why not to re-purpose? Not only is demolition bad for preservation, demolition is bad for the environment. According to a study by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the benefits of re-using and renovating buildings outweigh the benefits of constructing new energy-efficient structures. To mitigate the worst impacts of climate change, this study found that “building re-use can avoid unnecessary carbon outlays and help communities achieve their near-term reduction goals.”  Not to mention it contributes to landfills, the concrete not being recycled, and running out of sand used for glass and concrete production. It is largely accepted that re-purposing older buildings is more environmentally friendly than demolishing and rebuilding because the amount of fuel burned in demolition is staggering. Demolition is also bad for our health exposing dust, lead, and asbestos into the air where it stays as pollutants. To mitigate health risks, the city should warn residents [if] a demolition is scheduled. So to the point, in the upcoming run-off election, which candidate will consider a pause in demolition, stop development and embrace the 2021 Pritzker Prize winners’ philosophy of “never demolish, never remove or replace, always add, transform, and reuse….[because] demolishing is a waste of energy, a waste of material, and a waste of history…it is an act of violence.” Who will bring a paradigm shift to city decisions when thinking about sustainability and the environment? Sadly, the “tear down” of 375 Miracle Mile is a continuation of a pattern. A vote can change that outcome.

  8. I’m all about preservation, but that building was not historic nor that interesting either. I have a picture of my sister and I with the Coral Gables Christmas tree behind us (at the Gables holiday park). You can see where that used to be an empty lot behind us (I remember current building being built), and beyond that you can see the lovely and historic two story building which was recently demolished which used to be La Salle Cleaners. Very sad to see that piece of important Gables history gone.
    I would however have issues with high rise on The Mile, as it goes against our small town charming city. The city is being ruined. FYI: the picture with the empty lot which became Randazzo’s was taken in the early 70’s.

  9. I had the outmost respect for GablesInsider but since the election campaign I have lost it. Set aside your bias folks. Report the facts, provide scoops. Why in the world is bad that a building that has been empty for 5+ years in a corner of the mile that gets ZERO foot traffic, gets tested down to do something new???? Hello?!?! This anti-development trend for no reason whatsoever is nonesense. Protect the aesthetics YES, height limitations, YES, but let the mile prospect and don’t make it stall in the past, is not working.

  10. Aileen Ortega you sound like Biden who is one that does not know what he says. There is No silent majority as we had meetings on meetings and 99% said no to Miracke Mile up-zoning and most importantly off-site parking and more garages. This is not Coral Gables and almost all residents moved here for its beauty. If you want to change us then move out of our City and do it somewhere else. Just like the one you quoted, who wants to change America from the Country we all immigrated to.

  11. It’s clear to me Aileen works for the city like others that comment here often. Larger tax base at the cost of losing the city’s charm? Since when do residents care about a larger tax base? Don’t you remember annexation? The answer was NO!! The tax base has been growing for years vertically and down south, with expensive mansions, and our taxes keep going up because our value go up. City administration finds a way to spend every dime. Remember the crosswalk paint art? What a joke!!

  12. Development is inevitable. The issue is not “development/not development” but “intelligent development” vs “totally stupid development”

    If the city were to listen to all the knee-jerk anti-everything-development crowd, we’d still have horse buggy parking somewhere. What should happen is that there is a master plan developed for Miracle Mile and adjacent streets.

    My own vision is a long stretch of beautiful 4 to 6 story buildings from 37th avenue to 42nd with mixed use: Perhaps 3 stories of condos, 1 of offices, 1 retail at ground level, with some kind of uniformity in the architecture and wide awnings to shield pedestrians from the unforgiving Miami sun. Then, through the use of permitting, achieve a balanced mix of retailers which should include some good restaurants, some middle-class restaurants, and other stores.

    Right now, Miracle Mile is a really sleazy looking street in some parts, with really ugly buildings like the Dennis near 37th avenue, the Thai restaurant in front of Seasons 54, and similar.

    I have lived in South Gables for 15 years or so and can count the times I’ve actually gone for a stroll in Miracle Mile in both hands. That’s how uninviting I find it.

  13. The silent majority want development. Who doesn’t want a larger tax base? More money for the underline, parking? Who doesn’t want a more cohesive Miracle Mile instead of the hodgepodge of individual owners of small buildings who don’t give a hoot about what happens on the Mile because they live in Ohio? Come on, man! What a bunch of malarkey! And this guy up here talking about liquor being sold? What century is this?

  14. Information and transparency are vital. We should be able to easily find out what sort of building will go there. Are they keeping the facade? Is it a low rise colonial looking building that will enhance the street and balance the City Hall look? Is it the new “high rise” look popping up in other locations? I hope not as that will stick out like a LEGO ready to topple. The comment the person Jill posted makes a valid point: “get facts straight”. As I, and perhaps others, do not have our facts straight, can she enlighten us about dimensions, style, projected construction
    time goal(though this is Miami and things are never finished within their predicted time range), and other issues she knows about the building. If not, how available is this information that she is privy to and can she kindly point us to it?

  15. Why didnt the city save the building, it was beautiful, had character, and history…I am sad

  16. This is a positive event turned negative by the publication and most comments. Replacing an abandoned, derelict, poorly designed building, and replacing with a viable new one and a viable business is a positive for Miracle Mile.

  17. No more Valdes-Fauli, Commissioner Fors & Mena and gone is Keon. This is their legacy and glad it is facing City Hall, so they can see what they have done. Even if this is not related to the vote, it has been in the works to start tearing down our architecture for awhile and these developer loving politicians know it. We are looking to our new Mayor Lago to stop this mess and support the residents like he promised. Remember this at next election time and vote out the above so-called leaders and any facsimile name of theirs.

  18. It is high time to initiate a public referendum on overdevelopment. It should be the residents of Coral Gables that must decide this cantankerous issue once and for all!

  19. Let’s vote Anderson and Baños and we will have three, including Lago, on the commission supporting residents. No need for staff rubber-stamping Mena and Fors. The new commission can vote a 3-month moratorium on issuing new permits and approving new projects until the new commission can untangle the mess left by the four pro-development votes in the present commission. Deja vu 2001. How sweet it is!!

  20. Why isn’t City Code enforced on Miracle Mile and Ponce de Leon, regarding bikes, skateboards and scooters? This is an accicent waiting to happen. When a pedestrian is killed or hurt who will answer? The major, the commissioners, the Police? Maybe ome would think this has nothing to do with developers or zoning laws, I do because it shows little regard or attention to citizen’s needs and that codes, laws and regulations can be ignored in Coral Gables.

  21. “Currently under construction, 375 Miracle Mile will be a landmark for Mexican Cuisine. The project will offer a casual dining restaurant, a craft cocktail bar and outdoor dining in the ground floor. Above that, you will find a fine dining restaurant with a modern Mexican wine program and private room for events. The rooftop lounge will offer culinary delights, craft cocktails and an incredible sunset.”

  22. This building has sat empty for over 5 years, after its original poorly designed restaurant closed. A new owner has been working on getting their LOW RISE restaurant concept built for over 2 years that will bring vibrancy and business to this otherwise quiet corner. This project has nothing to do with up zoning or the current election. When will these scare tactics stop? Get your facts straight.

  23. Its already to late to stop the demo but how can we stop the commission from putting up a monstrosity in its place? How can we find out what is going to be built there? Who is building it and what for?

  24. And do not tell me this was not in the pipeline before the 4-1 vote. Smells rotten and it is rotten. We have a chance to vote in our new slate of resident-supporting commisioners. If we do not do it, the demolition will continue. Vote Anderson and Baños. You will not regret it.

  25. A quick search of the City of Coral Gables permit portal doesn’t show any new permits for that property. I would have expected to see a demo permit and possibly a master building permit describing the new plan. That aside, it seems as though they are keeping the facade of the building.

    Can anyone comment on the permit situation or what looks to be a controlled demo that saves the facade?

  26. How timely, right before the new commission is sworn in. The present commission, except Lago, is guilty because they voted for it, however. staff, led by Ramon Trias is also guilty because they try to appease zoning lawyers (Serra, Russo, Guilford, et al) representing developers, making our zoning code look like Swiss cheese full of holes. Why is liquor being sold at the Tsrget, well within 500 feet of Coral Gables K-8, among others? Time to vote for those who will side with the residents and not with their campaign-funding developers. Hopefully, they will also push the City Manager to clean house in the Planning and Zoning departments to rid our city of the highly paid zoning sell outs. This is a replay of 2001, when similar issues surfaced. Vote for those against the contaminating and toxic developers.

  27. Unless the residents wake up and vote for the candidates that have been fighting against the developers’ take over of our City this will be just the beginning of the destruction of what we know and love of Coral Gables.
    Menendez got the Consultant to recommend and the Commission to agree to the up zoning of his neighborhood so the developers can tear down the residences and build higher. It is an excellent deal for those who live there an of course for the developers. Both sides will be laughing all the way to the bank! And another residential neighborhood hits the dust. No pun intended! What about the people living in their close vicinity? Oh, perhaps they will be next getting offers from the developers! Who will be the next Benedict Arnold? Who will sell out?

  28. It’s too late to save this one but not too late to help stop the next one by voting in the runoff election. Support the people who were against it.!

  29. So sad… It was a beautiful building, full of character. I wonder what they’re going to replace it with. I hope not with one of those modern horrors we see around.

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