In addition to establishing a continuous waterfront park, the Master Plan envisions a re-energized marina complex, one that consolidates the existing maritime programs and places them into closer proximity to Dinner Key Marina facilities, highlighting Coconut Grove’s status as the “Racing Sailing Capital of the World”. With new state-of-the-art facilities for both the United States Olympic Sailing Center and the Coconut Grove Sailing Club, this complex of buildings will become an icon for these groups as well as for the City. Collectively, this complex will be known as the “Coconut Grove Sailing Center” and will be designed to incorporate contemporary materials such as glass and steel to reflect current trends in accessible waterfront architecture design. Accessed from the Dinner Key parking area, the Sailing Center will house the two main users within separate buildings but connect them together with a shared roof. The two facilities share a drop-off area and entry court but each has its own fenced dry storage and lay-down areas. Likewise both the USOSC and the CGSC will have dedicated docks and davits along the bulkhead to meet their needs. During seasonal regatta events, the Sailing Center will be allowed to expand its storage and lay-down space into the adjacent lawn areas of the Waterfront Park. Dinghy tie-ups and launch facilities are also provided along the bulkhead along with exclusive use of the Regatta Plaza boat ramps. In addition, by concentrating sailing in this area and reducing the amount of motor boats launched from Myer’s, the impacts to the bay bottom and marine habitat are minimized throughout Sailboat Bay.
With additional duties to oversee the new mooring field, the Dockmaster building will be remodeled 67
in its current location to address its expanded mission. To accommodate the Dinner Key operations and storage needs, a storage building will be placed near the Dockmaster building. Additional maintenance area may be located within the proposed parking garage nearby. A swimming pool is built as an educational and recreational amenity for the marina, mooring field members, and Sailing Center. All of these facilities are accessed by formal drop off areas and adjacent parking within a redesigned Dinner Key parking garden. With controlled access off of Pan American Drive/City Hall Plaza, this parking lot will meet the needs of the three main marina facilities with dedicated spaces for each. Existing spaces on the waterside of City Hall will also be maintained and controlled to allow parking within close proximity to the piers nearby. The parking area itself will employ current sustainable design methods, replacing the existing dark asphalt stalls with lighter colored crushed stone pavements to reduce the heat island effect. Shade trees within the parking area will help cool the lot and soften the visual impact of the parked cars.
The commercial fleet will be relocated to the Public Charter Pier on the east side of City Hall, which tends to be a more motorized area of the Grove waterfront. By locating many of the sailing activities at the southern end of the waterfront area, the opportunity for conflict between motorboats and sailboats and pleasure craft and educational boats is greatly reduced. Additionally, by consolidating like uses, the Master Plan creates new synergies among the waterfront facilities and users, enhancing and increasing visibility for these valuable community assets.
Connecting all of the marine facilities to one another, the baywalk provides pedestrian access to the entire waterfront. This baywalk will be wide enough to allow for service vehicles while still allowing for pedestrians to pass by. Special paving will create a sense of visual continuity along the water’s edge and will be echoed by lighting and rows of palm trees. Benches, lighting, and other site furnishings will be consistent along the entire baywalk to tie all of the different adjacent facilities together.