The ownership behind the reimagined CocoWalk, situated within the heart of Coconut Grove, announced that three new retail and restaurant tenants have signed leases in anticipation of the lifestyle center’s phased re-opening, slated to begin in the spring of 2020.
Owners of Miami Beach’s hugely popular Sushi Garage will bring its Japanese experience to the Grove; Palma de Leon, a new brand, will showcase fashions from up-and-coming international designers; and Botanico Gin & Cookhouse will introduce Miamians to the pleasures of a growing worldwide craze for all things gin.
CocoWalk’s dramatic redevelopment follows the joint acquisition of the property in 2015 led by Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE: FRT), The Comras Company and Grass River Property. In addition to opening up 150,000 square feet of new retail, dining and entertainment space, CocoWalk’s new ownership is developing One Cocowalk, a five-story, 85,762-square-foot office building on the property’s east side. Leasing for the office space is nearing completion, with creative coworking pioneer Spaces and private equity firm Boyne Capital among those signed. Still available for lease is the Penthouse featuring 21,000 square feet, sweeping bay views, and a private terrace overlooking Coconut Grove – the ideal location for firms looking to capitalize on all the things that make Coconut Grove the most livable neighborhood in Miami.
“Our vision for CocoWalk has been to transform the former evening and weekend destination into a location that suits the everyday lifestyle needs of the residents, office tenants and locals while maintaining its place as a top Miami destination,” said Michael Comras, CEO and President of The Comras Company and board member of the Coconut Grove Business Improvement District (BID). “We are excited to welcome Sushi Garage, Palma de Leon, and Botanico Gin & Cookhouse to our specially curated mix of businesses. We continue to seek best in class retail brands in fashion and beauty, to round out the mix and ensure CocoWalk becomes the all-encompassing centerpiece for the Grove.”
Sushi Garage, owned and operated by The Juvia Group, is led by Chef Partner Sunny Oh, Kaoru Chang, and Pastry Chef Gregory Gourreau currently located in Miami Beach’s Sunset Harbour neighborhood. The restaurant aims to honor Japanese traditional cuisine with a twist by utilizing the freshest ingredients. In the new Cocowalk location, The Juvia Group will echo their passion for fusing traditional simplicity with touches of modern creativity in a stunning restaurant.
Botanico Gin & Cookhouse will incorporate modern American cuisine with a bar focused on gin cocktails infused with botanicals – making it the first establishment in Miami to embrace gin’s international resurgence. A state-of-the-art wine cellar will also offer a robust selection of wine. Led by Mexican Executive Chef and Co-Owner Gerardo B. De Negri, Botanico features an extensive menu, designed to appeal to everyone, with palatable appetizers such as goat cheese dip and octopus carpaccio, brunch options from lemon ricotta pancakes to avocado and asparagus toast, and entrees that include a French burger on a croissant bun, filet mignon, grilled branzino, and much more. Botanico, occupying 2,951 square feet, is the eighth restaurant & bar for Chef De Negri, who joins a selection of chef-driven restaurants set to open in the new CocoWalk.
“Botanico Gin and Cookhouse is thrilled to join CocoWalk,” says Ricardo Ordonez, co-owner of Botanico Gin and Cookhouse. “Our partners all live and work in or around the Grove and we wanted an experience that would work for a family dinner or a special night out. Our approachable, yet international menu has something for everyone.”
Palma de Leon, a new concept making its debut at CocoWalk, will be home to a multi-brand women’s clothing and accessories boutique specializing in lines from emerging Latin American, European, and Australian designers. The 562-square foot space is soon to be followed, owners say, by a corresponding wine bar and gourmet bistro. The unusual pairing is the inspiration of a married couple – a Puerto Rican retailer whose passion is fashion and her Italian husband, a restaurateur – with the goal of creating a unique experience for shoppers.
The center’s new look is designed to blend with the surrounding neighborhood and will include native foliage evocative of the Grove’s lush tree canopy. An open-air courtyard extending into the adjacent pedestrian streetscape is destined to become one of the area’s finest public spaces.
“We shared a vision to return CocoWalk to its former position as the Grove’s geographical and commercial centerpiece,” says Stuart Biel, senior vice president of regional leasing at Federal Realty Investment Trust. “We’re focused on attracting a tenant mix that is better aligned with the needs and interests of local consumers, as well as the growing number of national and international visitors coming to the Grove. Sushi Garage, Palma de Leon, and Botanico Gin & Cookhouse exude the universal appeal we look for and we are proud to have them aboard.”
Coconut Grove’s proximity to affluent neighboring communities, along with numerous offices and private schools within walking distance, continue to drive demand to this dynamic destination.
The Grove has worked diligently to ensure free transit options like the trolley system and Freebee ride-hailing service are making it easier than ever for locals to experience this pedestrian neighborhood.