With construction of the retail space on the western half of CocoWalk already underway, Michael Comras , president and CEO of the Comras Company., which was part of the venture that acquired CocoWalk for $88 million in 2015, anticipates construction beginning as early as 2018 on One CocoWalk, a 78,000-square-foot Class A office building on the site’s eastern portion. Once construction is done, Mr. Comras said, the office building will aim to appeal to media and tech companies, crealive firms, financial and professional services firms, and global brands, as a way to boost Coconut Grove’s daytime population by creating a built-in customer base for retailers and restaurants. "There is so much going on in the Grove," Mr. Comras told Miami Today. "Right now the western portion of CocoWalk is currently being worked on, which will provide that area with new façades while creating vertical access to the area via stairwells and elevators.” “What we are thinking,” he said, “is that by spring 2018 the western half will be done.” At the same time, he told Miami Today, "We would like to start working on the eastern portion of the CocoWalk site and start to connect the office building to the middle and western portions of the site following the completion of the western half.” The middle portion of the new CocoWalk, he said, will include an open-air plaza serving as a physical extension of Coconut Grove's pedestrian streetscape featuring café seating, water features and native foliage. As for the turnover, he said, it would be about 14-16 months following completion of the western portion, which would leave enough time to have everything completed by the holidays in 2019. However, he said, until then all efforts will go toward attracting new tenants and growing the retail aspect of the new CocoWalk site. "We are really on a mission to re-merchandise the Grove," Mr. Comras said, "and are looking to eater to the current individuals who live, work and play in the Grove." Ono way of achieving this, he said, is by transforming CocoWalk into the place where everyone can hang out all in one place by adding the essential retail mix and businesses that would make the area a mainstay for visitors and residents. "We want it to be a place," he said, "where people can go out and have everything all in one place instead of having to travel to different areas to meet their needs.''
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