For nearly four years, the Giralda Plaza in Coral Gables has been closed to vehicular traffic since the completion of the downtown cityscape project.
The Giralda Plaza Streetscape has performed brilliantly from the start and has helped further mitigate the ravages of Covid-19, said Mark Trowbridge, president and CEO of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce.
“By allowing more outdoor seating, sharing tables and collaborating on promotional activities, it’s been a lifesaver,” he said. “And thanks to our city’s leadership, our restaurants have kept their doors open and provided a comfortable venue for returning customers.”
The Giralda and Miracle Mile streetscapes have been a huge hit, not only with tenants but also with the public, Coral Gables Mayor Vince Lago told Miami Today.
“La Giralda is booming with most properties rented out. It’s also great to see new concepts like Cebada, a rooftop restaurant open in the plaza and others like the Talavera remodel,” he said. “One of the great features of Giralda is that it offers many different dining options for this whole visit.”
Although the outbreak of covid was difficult for the restaurant industry, once they were able to open, he said, outdoor dining became important as it gave customers greater confidence to come back.
“We believe that Giralda brings our residents and visitors together and works surprisingly well as a pedestrian plaza,” the mayor said.
Currently, the change is intended to be permanent and longer-term, and the chamber continues to be a leading advocate for its pedestrian nature, Mr Trowbridge added.
“We assess this every two years and so far local businesses continue to see the pedestrian plaza as a great asset,” he said.
As for the future of downtown Coral Gables retail, the chamber is quite optimistic about the short- and long-term opportunities for the community’s most iconic shopping street, Trowbridge said.
“After visiting Washington, DC, and making a number of store visits in Georgetown and other adjacent districts, we know our retailers have been able to bounce back well and are starting to thrive again,” he said.
With more than 300 businesses operating throughout downtown Coral Gables, approximately 40 job listings are available for hire, according to the Downtown Coral Gables Business Improvement District website.
Consumers are comfortable being back in-store, while using online tools to view available inventory, styles and other trends, Trowbridge said.
“We also know that more and more stores are also looking for a physical footprint that perfectly matches Coral Gables,” he said, “and we couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds as new restaurants and big brands are finding their way to Miracle Mile and the surrounding streets of our downtown.