Wilton Manors has a wart on its nose. It is the old Wings and Things Property. This was a failed redevelopment project that happened as the property values everywhere went bust.
The Property was bought, plans filed and begun. They started building walls and extensions to the place to add value and extra outdoor seating, a raised platform and three grand trees.
They then ran out of money.
The trees survived, although I would be willing to bet that who ever starts work on this place will cut them all down since most of them only got so much water in the first month before the water got turned off and were left to fend for themselves.
The structure in the front was to be a grand arbor encased in Bougainvillea vines. This actually fared quite well and I’m surprised. You can see that the plants are rooted and mature and flowering over the arbor.
In the background in stark contrast to the Wings and Things wart, you have the Gables Wilton Park buildings. This property was built just before Wings, and completed a large, professionally managed apartment complex. It is intended to be high end housing, and having been in the place, it is obvious that the buildings are built to last. Thick concrete block walls sanded satin smooth and finished with a loft or semi industrial appearance gives an air of permanence. I get the same feeling when I’m on South Beach and look at the old Deco District buildings. They will be here long after we all have gone.
Watching the property go up, I saw how the drainage retention pond was buried under piers and a thick layer of concrete is trussed up over it like a bridge. The Bridge was paved over with a thick layer of asphalt and concrete. It is clear that the Gables Company does not mess around, they intend to be a part of the community and intend to produce a durable product. The quality of construction and materials made that quite obvious.
Hopefully now that we have signs on the Wings and Things property implying that construction will begin again, the place will be finished off and we will have something soon that will be worthy of sitting in the shadow of Gables’ large residential and commercial space. Sitting in the middle of this picture, under the arbor in the Gables building is the home of Wilton Manors Main Street.
Wilton Manors expects and deserves excellence on the Drive. We want a better city for all of us. Here’s hoping the construction will rise to that level.