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Grovites Want a Little Sleep, Damn it

Grove Square Condominium, a pristine

peach-colored tower just few blocks from Coco Walk, is the kind of place an empty-nester

might settle into a quiet life of coddling small dogs and dining at so-so chain

restaurants. But lately, things haven't been so quiet.

Last Thursday, resident Teresa Valdes

awoke suddenly to a loud noise around To Valdes, it sounded like someone was

hosting an all-night salsa dancing competition in the empty unit below. Latin

music rumbled, she says. Men carried in giant amps and microphones. And the

bass was enough to send 51 year-old resident Monika Ramos's makeup toppling from

a bathroom shelf. (Cops arrived shortly after to file a noise complaint.)

"Owners are running an illegal night club

below us," Valdes says. "It's big money and they're trying to see what they can

get away with."


For

years Grove

Square residents have been fighting plans from

developers to put a dance club in the mixed-use building. They've already

endured one club, called Quench, which opened in 2003, back when Coconut Grove

didn't have its alcohol

cut-off. Residents say the night club turned their quiet neighborhood into

something like a ghetto wasteland: there were bloody, drunken bar fights,

syringes in the hallways, and arson from a Molotov cocktail tossed at the venue.

Attorney Louis Terminello -- who

represents Florida Grove LLC, the owners of the unit in question --promised at

a May 2007 city zoning meeting that new tenants wouldn't be troublemakers and

that his "clients didn't intend to run anything resembling a nightclub,"

according to the Miami Herald.

Terminello now seems to be reneging a tad.

He says the Latin music came from a to-be restaurant/bar called Avalon Cafe that has been testing

its sound system. "These people are just being paranoid," he says. "It's all

bogus caca." He adds the Grove is becoming a " ghost town" thanks to "white

American elitists."

But 11-year resident Michael Lauter isn't

buying it. "You've got lights all over the ceiling, a dance floor, no tables,

and a massive sound system. Does that sound like a restaurant?"

 

--Natalie O'Neill


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