“Coral Gables is a city founded to be memorable” begins the City’s official website’s description of Coral Gables’ Mediterranean Architecture.
As Gables Insider reported on this past Sunday, bulldozers have begun tearing down the building at 375 and 385 Miracle Mile. The building had been the home of Randazzo’s Little Italy Restaurant.
Since the publishing of the article, Gables Insider has learned a new Mexican Restaurant (Meczal Mexican Cuisine) is planned for the site, which will feature two stories and a usable third floor for a rooftop terrace. The previous structure was only two stories without a usable third floor.
The project is owned by Brickell based Zoila del Hoyo Aguado, Corp.
The previous structure, filled with Mediterranean architectural features, was derelict after years of being vacant, and businesses on this westernmost part of Miracle Mile have been in need of pedestrian traffic for years.
However, is the new building, as seen in developer designs, true to Coral Gables’ Mediterranean Architecture? Is it true to the historic vision for downtown?
“The intent of the “Coral Gables Mediterranean Architecture” design bonuses is to continue the support of George Merrick’s vision consistent with the established historic building fabric of the City and enhance the image of the City by providing a visual linkage between contemporary development and the City’s unique historic thematic appearance.”
Mediterranean architecture is not required by the City, only encouraged. This building did not require Mediterranean design bonuses, since it was not seeking additional concessions from the City, allowing for it to skip any Mediterranean architectural features.