Latest News from City Hall

At its last meeting in September and first meeting in October, the Coral Gables City Commission: 

Instructed City Staff to find some way to alleviate the massive traffic jams that occur on Sunset Drive during weekdays, when parents drop off and pick up students from Sunset Elementary School. This is considered critical for the new fire station to be built on Sunset Drive. The principal suggestion, endorsed by the Coral Gables Neighborhood Association, is for parents to queue up on school grounds, not on Sunset Drive itself. 

Asked staff to find ways to incentivize developers to reduce density of new residential projects in the downtown, from 300 units per acre to 100 units per acre, for larger family-sized apartments. 

Listened to a master plan for expanding greenspaces and parks in Coral Gables, which envisions a 10-year program that would cost $47 million to upgrade and maintain current parks, and another $30 million to acquire new park space. The commission voted 5-0 to have staff review the plan, put together a funding strategy, and set up sunshine meetings for public discussion. 

Voted 4-0 to sell the so-called Greco Parking Lot on South Le Jeune Road to JRFQ holdings for $3.225 million – its highest assessed value. The sale had come under fierce attack by local blogs and community organizations accusing the commission of making a sweetheart deal. The city then spent months advertising for other offers. None were made. “There was no backdoor deal,” said Commissioner Jorge Fors, who had predicted the new solicitations “would be a waste of time.” Vice Mayor Michael Mena, who works for a company owned by principals of JRFQ, abstained. The new owners will build a parking garage which must offer the same number of public parking places, plus electric charging stations. 

 Mobility Hub Project - From City Hall Last Meetings

Listened to a proposed design for the $40 million Mobility Hub Project located at 245 Andalusia Ave. (between Salzedo and Ponce). The design, by M. Arthur Gensler architects, will “meet the future that is just around the corner,” said Dylan Jones, the firm’s mobility expert. It will consist of a ground floor of retail, 8 floors of parking, and an activated rooftop that will include a park for families, a fitness area, and shade from overhead photovoltaic cells. The idea is to make it a community center with multi-modal connections and charging stations for “fleets of micro devices”–scooters and other small electric vehicles. The building will have open spaces of green tucked into its sides, including one with a large sculpture, and will glow at night. Mayor Vince Lago made it clear that this design was for discussion purposes only and that the community will have its opportunity for input at various sunshine meetings. 

Decided on the process for reviewing recommendations from a blue-ribbon panel to strengthen the Mediterranean Ordinance, which was designed to give concessions for more height and density to buildings designed in the Mediterranean style, but which has failed to work in recent years.  

Other Community News 

Time to Give Back 

Miami’s largest annual online charity event, Give Miami Day, is scheduled for November 18, just one week before Thanksgiving. The annual giving movement makes it easy for anyone to make a philanthropic impact by giving to worthy nonprofits, big and small. Last year, even in the throes of the pandemic, 33,380 donors donated more than $18.2 million dollars to causes that improve our quality of life. Here are some of the Gables non-profits you can help: Coral Gables Art Cinema; Coral Gables Museum; Coral Gables Preparatory Academy PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association); Bike Walk Coral Gables; Coral Gables Community Foundation; Coral Gables High PTSA; Crystal Academy; Friends of Gables High; GableStage; Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre. You can connect by going to