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Gulfshore Business Daily: August 20

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REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT CLOSES THREE RESTAURANTS ON FIFTH AVENUE IN NAPLES

A strip of former longtime local restaurants and bars on Fifth Avenue South is scheduled to be demolished this week as part of a major redevelopment project in downtown Naples. The existing one-story building with Paddy Murphy’s Irish Pub, Citrus Seafood Restaurant, Bellini Italian Restaurant and Bellini Bar will be replaced with a more than 15,000-square-foot two-story building, said Matthew Slaughter, the property manager and a member of the team that has owned 445-457 Fifth Ave. S. for more than 35 years. The redevelopment project has been in the works for years. “We are looking at around 8,000 square feet on the first floor plus 1,750 square feet of private patio dining area. Most likely two tenants,” Slaughter says. “The second floor will have around 7,000 square feet (of office space).” The construction project still has to go through final approvals and permitting by the city. “We are looking at a year of construction,” Slaughter says. “A year from now, August 2021, we are looking at completion of the new building and will hopefully make the 2022 season. We are excited about moving forward.” Decisions have not been made yet about tenants for the two restaurant spaces on the first floor of the future building, Slaughter said. 
 

Infrastructure Commences at Crescent B Commons

INFRASTRUCTURE WORK BEGINS FOR SHOPPING CENTER AT BABCOCK RANCH 

Infrastructure work is now underway at Crescent B Commons, the Publix-anchored 82,640-square-foot shopping center at a new entrance to Babcock Ranch being constructed about one mile south of the existing entrance on Babcock Ranch Road/State Road 31. Crescent B Commons is 65% leased with Publix Liquors, Encore Nails, Pi Pizza and M’xuma Tacos executing leases in the past 90 days. The shopping center contains 19,600 square feet of inline space, as well as three available outparcels along Cypress Parkway totaling 14,653 square feet. Kitson & Partners, the developer of Babcock Ranch, is seeing steady tenant demand in categories including restaurants, health care, pet care, financial services and general daily needs, such as dry cleaners, pack-and-ship, salons and spas. Vertical construction of the new center is slated to begin in the fourth quarter of this year, with a projected completion of summer 2021. For more information about Babcock Ranch, visit the Woodlea Hall Discovery Center at 42850 Crescent Loop, call 877-709-6620 or visit BabcockRanch.com
 

HOME SALES ARE UP AT PORTOFINO IN MIROMAR LAKES BEACH & GOLF CLUB 

In less than 30 days, three model homes and two exclusive homesites within the intimate neighborhood of Portofino in Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club have sold, recording nearly $7 million in sales. London Bay Homes is the exclusive builder in Portofino, where only one select custom model and one homesite remain available in the maintenance-free neighborhood of just 20 waterfront villa homesites. “Buyers at Miromar Lakes have been inspired by our fully furnished model homes, and they’re opting for immediate move-in options that meet their lifestyle,” says Mark Wilson, CEO and president of London Bay Homes. Desiring a new home that offered a variety of enhancements, such as expanded outdoor spaces with waterfront views, a modern open floor plan, and enriched luxury amenities along with an active community lifestyle, the homebuyers of all the three recently sold homes were immediately drawn to the home’s architectural design and interior aesthetic. For more information about London Bay Homes, call 239-298-7605 or visit LondonBay.com
 
Video courtesy of WINK News

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS ARE PREVENTING SEASONAL FLORIDIANS FROM RETURNING 

Laura Bonomi’s heart and home are in Southwest Florida but, for now, this seasonal Floridian is stuck in Rome. “If the borders were not closed, I probably would have taken my risk. Because I can come there, I can quarantine,” Bonomi says. So, her home in Rotonda West sits empty and there may be quite a few other homes sitting empty this winter, according to those who tend to houses while the owners are away, WINK News reports. Home Watch business owner Tim Gilliland said he doesn’t think that seasonal travelers will be back until we can predict what the coronavirus will do next. As many as 10% of seasonal travelers come from Canada, and that border remains closed. Many clients “told us they don’t think they’ll make it back down and those are mostly our Canadian customers,” says Ron Hudnall, with Hudnall’s Home Tech Services of Fort Myers. But Hudnall is hopeful since most people have not said that they’re not coming. “We haven’t heard from a lot of people like if they’re not coming,” he says.

 

COLLIER COUNTY SCHOOL STUDENTS WILL RECEIVE FREE BREAKFASTS 

Collier County public school students will be served free breakfast for the 2020-21 school year. “Research shows, and teachers agree, that students who eat breakfast are more attentive, learn better, and have fewer behavior issues,” the district announced. Breakfasts for adults will be $1.50. Lunch prices will remain the same: $2 for elementary students and $2.25 for middle and high school students. Students whose families qualify to receive meals at free or reduced-price will be served meals at no charge. The district said application information is being sent to all homes with a letter to parents or guardians. Parents can expect a quicker approval when submitting applications online in comparison to paper application submissions. To apply for free or reduced-price meals, households may complete a private and secure online application at myschoolapps.com or collierschools.com/nutrition
 

NAPLES ART WELCOMES INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Naples Art announces the appointment of Merlin Lickhalter, FAIA, FACHA as interim executive director. He replaces Executive Director Aimee Schlehr, who resigned effective earlier this month. A 15-year fulltime Naples resident, Lickhalter is an active participant in the Naples cultural arts community, having served as board member and president of the United Arts Council (UAC) as well as on the City of Naples Public Arts Commission. He initiated UAC’s strategic planning process that led in 2008 to the creation of the ArtsNaples World Festival, later known as StayInMay. Lickhalter also is a board member of the Jewish Federation of Greater Naples, past chair of Naples Classic Chamber Concerts and past vice-chair of the Pelican Bay Foundation. His cultural resume follows an award-winning career of more than 35 years in architectural planning and design and around the world. He was elected a fellow in the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and served as president of the AIA’s Academy of Architecture for Health. He is a founding fellow in the American College of Healthcare Architects and received both his degree in architecture and ROTC Commission from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For more information about Naples Art, 585 Park St., call Lickhalter at 239-262-6517 or email merlin.lickhalter@naplesart.org.
 

CHARITABLE NOTES

Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum awarded grant 

The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum on Sanibel has been awarded a $121,381 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support a critical shell collection project in partnership with 14 other major science institutions. Led by the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, the project creates a consortium of 15 collections in the United States to improve data and accessibility for almost 3,000 species – more than 4.5 million individual specimens – of marine mollusks found on the East Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico. Researchers hope to improve fishery and conservation management practices by compiling, mapping and analyzing species distributions over the past hundreds of years. The grant, the first awarded to the museum from NSF, provides resources for four years of collection work and supports acquiring equipment, hiring specialized staff and training graduate students. To learn more about the museum and plan a trip to the scientific institution, visit shellmuseum.org
 

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