Lead Photo: An artist’s conception of the new Hammock Park Apartments in South Naples being developed by FL Star. Details below.
BUC-EE’S CANCELS PLANS FOR HUGE GAS STATION/STORE IN FORT MYERS
Buc-ee’s, a gas station with a cult following because of its eclectic mix of merchandise, snacks and clean bathrooms, has pulled out of its plans for a store in Fort Myers. “Sometimes projects fall through,” says Jeff Nadalo, a Buc-ee’s spokesperson. “It’s part of being in real estate development.” In August 2017, Buc-ee’s purchased the 158-acre site off the eastern end of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and just west of Interstate 75 for a 120-pump station, but put the land back on the market several months ago. The proposed Fort Myers location would have posed logistical issues for motorists. “The on-site economics were substantially higher than originally anticipated,” Nadalo says. “We’re looking for sites throughout the state.” To read the full story, click here.
STATE OPENS 3 MONOCLONAL ANTIBODY TREATMENT SITES IN SWFL
Gov. Ron DeSantis opened a Collier County site for monoclonal antibody treatments Thursday at the former Dollar General store in Winn-Dixie Plaza,1500 Lake Trafford Road, Immokalee. This follows the opening of other regional sites in Lee County at the old Bonita Springs Library, 26876 Pine Ave., and in Charlotte County at Tringali Community Center, 3460 North Access Road, in Englewood. All 21 state sites operate 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and are each able to serve more than 300 patients per day. Individuals 12 years of age and older who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and are at high risk for severe illness and hospitalization can receive this treatment without a prescription or referral.
NOMI HEALTH OPENS FDOH-LEE AND LEE COUNTY TESTING SITES
The Florida Department of Health-Lee (FDOH-Lee) and Lee County government are collaborating to expand COVID-19 testing using a vendor, Nomi Health. FDOH-Lee has an agreement with Nomi Health to increase drive-thru COVID-19 testing appointments at its clinic. PCR and antigen tests will now be available by appointment only 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the FDOH-Lee clinic, 3920 Michigan Ave., Fort Myers. Lee County is allowing use of its CenturyLink Sports Complex for Nomi Health to operate a drive-thru COVID-19 testing location. PCR and antigen tests will be available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday at the outdoor site, 4100 Ben C. Pratt/Six Mile-Cypress Parkway, Fort Myers. Appointments are available now for CenturyLink, while appointments are available starting Tuesday for FDOH-Lee. To schedule an appointment at either site, call 904-295-0562 or click here.
SOUTHWEST FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT REPORTS RECORD-BREAKING JULY TRAFFIC
During July, a record-breaking 814,471 passengers traveled through Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers. This was an increase of 218% compared to July 2020 and 42.6% more than the passenger traffic in July 2019. Year-to-date, passenger traffic is up 60% compared to last year. The traffic leader in July was Southwest Airlines, with 205,598 total passengers. Rounding out the top five airlines were Delta (156,658), American (149,918), United (114,151) and Spirit (66,167). Southwest Florida International Airport had 7,020 aircraft operations, an increase of 51.9% compared to July 2020. Page Field saw 10,115 operations, a 1.4% decrease compared to July 2020.
DEADLINE SEPT. 10 TO CHALLENGE PROPERTY VALUE ASSESSMENTS
Collier County property owners who disagree with the assessment of their property’s value or with the denial of a property tax exemption or classification have until 5 p.m. Sept. 10 to file an appeal petition with the Value Adjustment Board. The fee for filing with the VAB is $15 per parcel. In late August, property owners received their 2021 Notice of Proposed Property Taxes, also called a Truth in Millage (TRIM) notice, from the Collier County Property Appraiser. Property owners who disagree with their property’s assessed value are encouraged to contact the Office of the Collier County Property Appraiser to discuss how the value was determined. If the disagreement remains unresolved, property owners may file a petition to appeal the assessment in person at the VAB Office, Building F, 3299 Tamiami Trail E., Suite 401, East Naples, or online by clicking here.
MARE TERRA RISTORANTE REPLACING PALLADIO TRATTORIA IN BONITA SPRINGS
Mare Terra will continue a string of Italian restaurants this fall in Bonita Springs when it opens at 28340 Trails Edge Blvd., an address on the west side of U.S. 41 that has been home to Palladio Trattoria, Fabio Trattoria Italiana, Anthony’s Trattoria and Noodles Cafe during the last two decades. After serving northern Italian cuisine for five years, Palladio closed July 18 and Chef Emanuela “Emma” Calcara returned to Italy. Naples restaurateur Sal Sinzieri, known for creating MiraMare Ristorante and Fish in the Village on Venetian Bay, and Bice on Fifth Avenue South, recently bought business space in Southern Exposure Plaza to launch his new Italian restaurant, targeted to open in November.
PETCO RELOCATING STORE FROM NORTH NAPLES TO BONITA SPRINGS
Petco plans to relocate its retail store from North Naples to Bonita Springs in the first quarter of 2022. The store at the Gateway Shoppes at North Bay on the corner of Wiggins Pass Road and U.S. 41 will relocate about 2 miles north to Springs Plaza on the southeast corner of U.S. 41 and Bonita Beach Road. Petco will fill the space recently vacated by Goodwill, which relocated to Imperial Bonita Plaza at Bonita Beach Road and Imperial Parkway.
FL STAR ANNOUNCES NEW APARTMENT COMMUNITY IN SOUTH NAPLES
FL Star has announced plans for a new luxury apartment complex, Hammock Park Apartments, to be located at the corner of Rattlesnake Hammock Road and Collier Boulevard in South Naples. The complex will include 265 units, offering a selection of apartment sizes and configurations. Construction on Hammock Park Apartments is expected to begin this fall. Hammock Park is being developed by FL Star. At the helm of FL Star, a conglomerate of real estate entities, are David E. Torres and Gary Hains, who offer more than 45 years of combined experience in the construction industry.
STUDIO+ ADDS FIVE TO FORT MYERS OFFICE
Studio+ has hired five professionals to its headquarters in Fort Myers. The five additions include Michele Gouley, quality assurance; William Caple, project architect; Molly Dyal, BIM manager; Barbara Hughes, senior project coordinator; and Amanda Ferguson, interior designer. Gouley joined Studio+ in early 2021 as a licensed building plan examiner and quality assurance manager, bringing more than 21 years of experience to the firm. Caple is Studio+’s newest project architect, with more than nine years of experience working in the health care, hospitality and residential architectural markets. Dyal is a BIM manager with more than eight years of experience as a designer and Revit master, working on multi-family, health care, and commercial projects. Hughes relocated and joined Studio+ in late June as a senior project coordinator with 16 years of experience. Ferguson is an interior designer with 11 years of corporate, commercial and health care experience.
TROYER APPOINTED DATA SCIENTIST FOR CYPRESS AT HOME
Cypress at Home has welcomed Kristina Troyer to its team. Troyer will join the company as a new data scientist, bringing more than 15 years of experience as a strategic clinical leader to the role. Troyer received her Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of South Florida and will complete a master’s degree in data analytics by spring 2022. Most of her career has been focused around building longitudinal therapy and rehabilitation care pathways. She has worked with both large and small organizations.
BETTER TOGETHER NAMES NEW COMMUNITY BOARD
Better Together, a voluntary, community-driven alternative to foster care, has introduced its new community board to help represent and support the needs of families across Southwest Florida. Members of Better Together’s community board in Southwest Florida include Bess Charles, owner of LadyCakes Bakery LLC; Bryan Blackwell, managing partner of Southern Oak Wealth Management; Chadd Hodges, owner of Best Home Services; Cory Demmel, pastor of Cape Christian Church; Josh Dorcey, managing partner of The Dorcey Law Firm PLC; Michael Deluca, principal-in-charge of HBK CPAs & Consultants in Southwest Florida; and Teri Hansen, president and creative director of Priority Marketing. While serving a two-year term, members will be responsible for raising awareness, support and funding for programs provided within the community. Better Together works to keep families together through two programs – Better Families and Better Jobs.
MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORS’ ASSOCIATION OF SWFL ANNOUNCES BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Membership Directors’ Association of Southwest Florida (MDASF) has appointed the 2021-2022 Board of Directors. They are principal Danita Osborn, vice president Kristen Yanzer, secretary Tammy Mercer, treasurer Stephanie Glasco, membership chair Daniela Jacob, public relations chair Sara James, and Jennah Liskin for website and communications. The Membership Directors’ Association of Southwest Florida is an organization whose purpose is to create a resource for club marketing/membership professionals in the private club industry and to encourage the advancement of the position by providing educational programs and support. The MDASF currently represents more than 87 golf clubs, country clubs and yacht clubs.
American Cancer Society’s Lee County Cattle Baron’s Ball names 2021 honoree
The American Cancer Society has announced the 2021 Lee County Cattle Baron’s Ball honoree, Dr. Emad Salman. This year’s event will be held on Oct. 23 at Edison & Ford Winter Estates near downtown Fort Myers. For nearly 25 years, Salman has practiced pediatric hematology and oncology in the Fort Myers community. He serves as the regional medical officer of Golisano Children’s Services and Lee Physician Group Pediatric Division and as vice president and chief physician executive for Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. The Lee County Cattle Baron’s Ball will feature live entertainment from Ben Allen Band, a live and silent auction, caricature artists and more. A part of the evening will be a mission appeal, benefiting the American Cancer Society’s GoldTogether initiative, which is dedicated to increasing awareness of childhood cancer, supporting families facing a diagnosis and raising funds to end childhood cancer.
Community Foundation of Collier County provides $67,000 grant for trees
The Community Foundation of Collier County (CFCC) provided a $67,000 grant for a tree-planting project in Everglades City in partnership with Naples Botanical Garden to address Hurricane Irma recovery and the continued effort to prepare the area for the next natural disaster. This grant is part of the foundation’s countywide focus to invest $500,000 to reforest Collier as a part of its Your passion. Your Collier. initiative, which addresses community challenges, including the changing environment as illustrated in the recent UN Climate Change report. Planting native trees in the community will help preserve the beauty of Collier County, improve air quality, provide shade and support wildlife, CFCC states.
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