After years in limbo, the Coconut Grove Playhouse cleared a giant hurdle on the road to revival Wednesday when state officials gave the final go-ahead for Miami-Dade County to take control of the historic theater.
With just hours to spare to meet an unmovable state deadline, county officials delivered a package of legal documents to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection demonstrating that they had managed to clean up the theater’s long-clouded property title by satisfying a list of creditors, ranging from the city of Miami to an office-supply company.
Had the county not met the Wednesday deadline, the state was required by ironclad rules to put the property up for sale to the highest bidder, a prospect no one in Miami or Tallahassee relished.
Though the documents were decidedly non-sexy, the bottom line is “thrilling,’’ said Miami-Dade cultural affairs director Michael Spring: It means the county can move on an ambitious plan to rebuild the deteriorated 1926 playhouse building, which is considered an architectural and cultural landmark as well as a critical economic driver for Coconut Grove’s village center. The county long ago earmarked $20 million in bond proceeds for the project.