Aries Development: Bad Neighbour Or Worst Neighbour Ever?
Gino Falsetto, the Anti-Midas

I’ve written so many times here about Gino Falsetto, that I should rename this joint The Falsetto Voice. Gino, who ran away from a string of bankrupted restaurants in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, has the Midas touch in reverse. Everything he touches turns to crap.* And now he’s working his special brand of magic on Coconut Grove.

Bad enough that he is allowing the historically designated, 120-year old E.W.F. Stirrup House to undergo nearly a decade of Demolition by Neglect. Now Aries Development (Gino’s front company) is allowing a much more visible property on Main Highway to go to wreck and ruin.

Earlier this year Aries Development was gifted the structure known as the Bicycle Shop on Main Highway at the far side of the Coconut Grove Playhouse parking lot. It was a complicated property swap, told more fully in the posts The Bicycle Shop The Latest In The Cultural Plunder of Coconut Grove and The Coconut Grove Playhouse Deal Begins to Unfold.

TO MAKE A LONG STORY SHORT: The very first thing Aries Development did was remove the roof of the Bicycle Shop. The very last thing Aries did was remove the roof of the Bicycle Shop.

See the Bicycle Shop? See the roof?

Well, not exactly. At first the Bicycle Shop was left as an open and unsecured construction site. After several complaints to the City of Miami By-Law Enforcement by this reporter, a gate was finally erected, making the construction site as secure as a 6 foot fence allows.

Incidentally, removal of the roof was allegedly done without benefit of a demolition permit, which is how Aries seems get away with a lot of skullduggery.

The Google satellite view at right shows several things. Firstly, it shows how the Bicycle Shop had a roof in the most recent snapshot. It also shows the Coconut Grove Playhouse, the large structure in the middle. Lastly, it shows how close the Bicycle Shop is to the E.W.F. Stirrup House (3242 Charles Avenue), which has been undergoing nearly a decade of Demolition by Neglect at the hands of Aries Development. So far the Bicycle Shop has ONLY undergone 10 months of Demolition by Neglect at the hands of Aries Development.

With the Farmers’ Market returning to the Coconut Grove Playhouse parking lot every Thursday, this is the structure that will greet buyers and vendors alike, and they have Gino Falsetto to thank.

Is this merely another case of Gino Falsetto hoping that Demolition by
Neglect will take care of another one of his properties so he doesn’t have to? Is this more of the same indifference to his neighbours that’s been eating
away at the E.W.F. Stirrup House for nearly a decade?

When will Aries’ neighbours finally get angry and make the City of Miami sit up and take notice? When will the City of Miami step in and FORCE Aries development to maintain and upkeep its holdings?

When will Aries Development and Gino Falsetto just do the right and proper thing, as all good neighbours should?

Here are pictures of the current state of the Bicycle Shop, taken November 1, 2014:

* Except for the Grove Gardens Residence Condominiums and the restaurants on the ground floor, Calamari, La Bottega, and The Taurus. Those were made a showplace. The E.W.F. Stirrup House and the Bicycle Shop? Not so much.

About Headly Westerfield

Calling himself “A liberally progressive, sarcastically cynical, iconoclastic polymath,” Headly Westerfield has been a professional writer all his adult life.