Transportation Advisory Board Opposes New Miracle Mile Hotel

As we mentioned in our prior article, the latest development project making its way through City Hall is a proposed seven story hotel with zero on-site parking owned by Terranova Corp.  

Gables Miracle Mile, LLC., located at 220 Miracle Mile, has plans to redevelop the existing two-story commercial/office building fronting Miracle Mile with a 120-unit hotel with 16,000 square feet of ground floor retail and approximately 11,000 square feet of upper floors commercial.

TRAFFIC

Traffic has been a hotly contested issue every election for the past decade. The number of vehicles that use Coral Gables as a cut-through City grows every day.

Although, one may not normally see a hotel as a large contributor to traffic, however, at the October 22nd Commission meeting, Dr. Gordon Sokoloff, Chairman of the City’s Transportation Advisory Board voiced several concerns relating to the potential traffic impact of the project.

The board is made up of residents who are appointed by City Commissioners and its role is to advise the City Commission on traffic. The Board voted unanimously against the project.

  1. UBER, LYFT & TAXIS: 220 Miracle Mile will rely strictly on Uber, Lyft and taxi services to provide transportation to its residents. These vehicles are forced to park or circle the block waiting for customers. Gables Insider recently reported on the issue with Uber and Lyft and their drivers loitering in the Cocoplum circle. However, the city paid David Plummer and Associates to conduct a study on the project, and their assessment was that “since the project will generate less than 50 net (two-way) vehicle trips during the am and pm peak hours, we are requesting that the project be exempt from conducting a Traffic Impact Study.” Sokoloff explained that in his opinion, “These reports call for the suspension of reason and common sense.  Who, in their right mind, can convince anyone here that a seven story hotel with massive retail and a hotel lobby on the ground floor, three restaurants, and six floors of 120 hotel rooms, – and all of the employees, – will generate LESS traffic than the two story building that currently exists?”
  2. LOCATION: The location of the hotel is located in what is deemed to be the busiest intersection in the City. According to Sokoloff, “The proposed hotel, as presently designed, will WORSEN traffic at this intersection and beyond, affecting VOLUME, SPEEDS and TRAFFIC PATTERNS.”
  3. OVERFLOW: The current plan proposes for valets to be available to move vehicles quickly through the alley and keep traffic flowing. However, Sokoloff believes this plan to be, “unrealistic. The alley is a public right-of-way. The developer should have his own driveway, – very much like The Mayfair Hotel or Architectonica’s project in Coconut Grove. Perhaps a lobby on the second floor of this hotel would be more suitable, – and therefore allow for a much larger area for the hotel guests to unload, check-in, stop for any reason without needing to turn their keys over to a valet.
  4. THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY: As previously reported by Gables Insider, the Cheesecake Factory is preparing to open its doors at 2418 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, the former location of Bricktops and the property directly behind 220 Miracle Mile. Sokoloff explained that Cheesecake Factory is, “a highly popular restaurant that will be the direct neighbor behind this hotel and right alongside the hotel’s proposed entry-way.  This restaurant also has NO PARKING, however people picking up food, picking up passengers, Uber Eats, Grub-Hub, and other delivery vehicles will be sharing this alley and only make this a more congested area.  While one may argue that there is the adjacent, smaller alley directly behind Cheesecake Factory, – I doubt that ALL drivers for Cheesecake Factory will inherently know where their cars should be.”

Sokoloff took the opportunity to appeal to Commissioners as well, “Our Board is unanimously against this project as its being presented today, – and as it was presented to the Planning and Zoning Board.  The alleyway is a public right of way and it’s unviable and completely wrong to allow a developer utilize a City-owned public right-of-way as his own personal driveway for his private hotel. OUR BOARD is made up of your appointees.  We are citizens that represent members of the outer Community.  As Chairman of the Transportation Advisory Board, – I am not here to fight City Hall.  I consider myself a part of City Hall.  The hours upon hours that citizens put into these Boards, – we would like to think that we’re relevant.  That our voices count, – otherwise, why did you appoint us?  We represent the Citizens that voted you into office.   Yes, – you are considering a proposal from a developer, – but it’s important to all of us that you remember that the residents comes first.”

It should be noted that the Transportation Advisory Board does not regularly opine on commercial projects. It’s scope is currently to review projects that affect residential neighborhoods.

Share:

13 thoughts on “Transportation Advisory Board Opposes New Miracle Mile Hotel

  1. There are now two planned mega developments within 2 blocks of each other on Miracle Mile. A 14 story 133 unit luxury rental and retail building at 100 Miracle Mile and the 7 story hotel with NO PARKING at 220 Miracle Mile. Both are behemoths that will dwarf the rest of the buildings there. And traffic is already a nightmare on Miracle Mile. The merchants are worried about the continued construction hurting thier businesses. They should be worried that people will avoid the area even more when all the mega developments are on line. I am a Coral Gables resident, and I, like Sharon Watson, never go there anymore.
    I have read that the Commission plans to go ahead with the hotel approval, despite unanimous disagreement by the advisory board, and an outcry from Coral Gables residents tired of the concrete canyons being created. The “green ” lip service is a joke. The choking traffic and destruction of any green left in our city is about as bad as it gets for the environment.

  2. Has the commission completely lost it’s mind? None of this makes any sense whatsoever. This is going to be a nightmare!

  3. Class A hotels generally have an guest/employee ratio of 1/1. Thats 120 employees WITHOUT including the staff requirements of the three public restaurants planned. Are they planning to bus in their employees or require that the work there only if they agree to using public transportation to come to work? And valet isn’t the answer for the restaurants as they are using the alley to jockey the cars from the restaurants now. This project should NOT be permitted without adequate infrastructure. Never mind the fact that the height on Miracle Mile will forever change the character of our downtown.

  4. Totally unacceptable and poorly thought out. Commissioners and Mayor should be ashamed of
    themselves that this “hotel” has been approved by them. Thank goodness some folks are bringing
    common sense to the table.

  5. I fully support development in the City but it has to make sense. By all means, do not have on site parking, but it is imperative that pick up and drop off is done on the land owner’s property, not in a public alley where it will cause the inevitable traffic jams.

  6. I was at this meeting. My comment was that this whole idea is sheer lunacy.
    ‘Remote Parking” GIVE ME A BREAK.
    All the businesses will have minimum one delivery per day. Where is the loading area that won’t impinge on the traffic flow down the PUBLIC alleyway? Passenger pickup/delivery is same problem.
    I am not against growth, however, as Progress is Good (noticed not real name – are you ashamed of your opinion?) thinks it will be narrow dark medieval alleys or a swamp… what s/he is proposing with a 7 story building with definitely make it dark and dank. Honestly… smh
    Dr. Sokoloff presented cogent and important reasons against this travesty as viewed from the Transportation Advisory Board. Let’s just make the Mile impossible to travel as it is already is a major East-west corridor… I already avoid it unless I have a particular destination in mind and I KNOW I am not the only one feeling this way.
    Please plan on apologizing to your children and/or grands for trashing a world renown street.
    What is proposed is a nightmare scenario.

  7. As a resident, I find myself more and more going outside the city for any type of trade. The no parking situation is ridiculous, the valet fees prohibitive, and the traffic is obnoxious. My home is not far from Red Road, and I simply go that way, out of the city, for anything I need to do…even grocery shopping. I’m grateful I am on a street in a densely populated single family home area….you can’t screw me over here….thank God, but you are ruining the rest of this city.
    But, perhaps you don’t care..speaking to our city commissioners. I can’t line your pockets like that of the developers. I’m sure you will do as you wish, and approve this project no matter what anybody says because you have found personal benefits to doing so. You can count on me to be voting for anyone that runs against you, if you persist in approving this debacle.

  8. Jeannette Sleznick was right- we are becoming Brickell 2.0. I thank the Advisory Board for telling it like it is. And if the commissioners still approve- I will not only vote against them, I will wage a campaign to educate the apathetic Coral Gables citizens to vote them out. The politicians have always relied on the low voter turnout so they can conduct business as usual. The huge and growing unfunded pension deficit, the massive megadevelopments ruining our city, etc. Enough is enough.

  9. Jeannette Selznick was right- we are becoming Brickell 2.0. I thank the Advisory Board for telling it like it is. And if the commissioners still approve- I will not only vote against them, I will wage a campaign to educate the apathetic Coral Gables citizens to vote them out. The politicians have always relied on the low voter turnout so they can conduct business as usual. The huge and growing unfunded pension deficit, the massive megadevelopments ruining our city, etc. Enough is enough.

  10. It is crazy to allow the Hotel to be built in that corner with no parking. We the residents of Coral Gables are losing this city block by block. I will vote against any commissioner who approves this project. Enough is enough!

  11. People living in the past with a olde and backward mentality. If city building visionaries listened to such voices there would be no haussmann paris just narrow dark medieval alleys or indeed merrick gables beautiful city in a swamp.
    This hotel is located in the CBD, let it grow!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.