Gulfshore Business Daily: August 24

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NAPLES HOUSING MARKET SEES SUMMER SALES SURGE IN JULY 

The Naples housing market experienced a continued surge in activity during July, which resulted in a 57.3% increase in homes under contract for the month. Closed sales during July increased 35.4% compared to July 2019, greatly surpassing June’s closed sales activity following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions. However, a decreasing supply of inventory, which broker analysts believe is caused by heightened homebuying interest this summer, is making it difficult to keep up with the strong buyer demand. Out-of-state visitors are here to do more than just golf and visit the beach this summer, according to broker analysts reviewing the July 2020 Market Report released by the Naples Area Board of Realtors (NABOR). There were 15,634 showings during July, less than half the number of showings during June (36,912), yet pending sales increased which indicates that properties were purchased virtually, sight unseen. July’s pending sales spiked to 1,446 from 919 pending sales in July 2019. The majority of sales that resulted in the 35.4% increase in overall closed sales during July occurred in the single-family home market, which saw a 42.8% increase in closed sales compared to a 27.3% increase reported in the condominium market. To view the entire report, visit NaplesArea.com.
 

HOFFMANN FAMILY OF COMPANIES TO ACQUIRE GLOBAL JETCARE 

The Hoffmann Family of Companies is set to acquire Global Jetcare Inc., an international air ambulance company and their fleet of five medically equipped long-range Learjets, next month. Global Jetcare has more than 20 years of aviation and air medical experience and knowledge, transporting patients globally to their destination, offering bedside to bedside medical transportation worldwide. The Hoffmann Family of Companies identified core competencies in Global Jetcare to add to its growing company portfolio of travel, hospitality and tourism-related companies. Based in Brooksville, just north of Tampa, Global Jetcare’s headquarters include a 20,000-square-foot aircraft hangar and more than 6,000 square feet of offices located on 11 acres at Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport with plenty of room for expansion. The company employs more than 40 professionals, including pilots, flight physicians, registered nurses, paramedics and aircraft mechanics. Global Jetcare, founded in 2009, provides service to private individuals as well as hospitals, insurance companies and assistance companies from around the world. The company utilizes proprietary technology and software to map the best-suited route and provides a transport quotation within minutes to clients. 
 

NEW LOCATION FOR ITALIAN DELI AND MARKET BEGINS CONSTRUCTION TODAY ON MARCO

The new location for the Italian Deli and Market begins construction today at 902 Park Ave. on Marco Island. MK Architecture in Fort Myers completed the design and permitting phases for the new deli and the general contractor for the project is Heatherwood Construction of Bonita Springs. The newly designed 4,316-square-foot restaurant will seat 150 customers and continue its tradition of classic Italian fare along with a full-service bar and large outdoor seating area. Once completed, it will replace the current Italian Deli and Market owned by Jim and Jared Grifoni at 247 N. Collier Blvd.
 

REPAIRS BEGIN ON BRIDGE INTO MATLACHA COMMUNITY PARK 

Matlacha Community Park will be closed beginning today as a contractor for the Lee County Department of Transportation performs maintenance and repairs to the small timber bridge at the park’s entrance. The county plans to reopen the 26-foot bridge, the park and the boat ramp in time for Labor Day weekend. Although the park will be closed to the public, work will continue on the Matlacha Fishing Pier, which also is being rebuilt. Staging for that project is at nearby Bat House Park, which remains open for anglers while its parking lot is being used for the pier project. Once the bridge into the park is repaired, construction vehicles will be able to use it, and the lot at Bat House Park will reopen. The fishing pier will reopen next spring, replacing a more than 50-year-old structure that had deteriorated from the elements. The project will include new benches, garbage cans, lighting, fish cleaning stations and ADA-accessibility features. The pier project is funded largely by tourist development taxes on short-term lodging. For more information, visit LeeParks.org.
 

LEETRAN ANNOUNCES BUS FARE PASS EXCHANGES AHEAD OF FARE BOX ROLLOUT 

Lee County Transit is asking riders to prepare for its upcoming technical upgrade with new fast-fare boxes and fare-collection system. The new electronic fare boxes will provide an improved rider experience while offering payment methods that minimize touch while boarding buses. In anticipation of the new fare box rollout, LeeTran will begin the exchange process of old fare passes for new ones. Riders who have old or unused fare passes can exchange them for new passes from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting Thursday at two LeeTran locations in Fort Myers: Rosa Parks Station, 2250 Widman Way, and LeeTran headquarters, 3401 Metro Parkway. The starting date for LeeTran’s new fare collection system will be announced soon. To access schedules for routes, click here.
 

MINIMUM WAGE TOPIC AT BONITA SPRINGS DOWNTOWN ALLIANCE MEETING ON TUESDAY 

The Bonita Springs Downtown Alliance is hosting its monthly membership meeting Tuesday at Shangri- La Springs in downtown Bonita Springs. Speakers will be Lois Croft, executive director of Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, and Jay Johnson of Bubba’s Roadhouse & Saloon in Cape Coral. They will be speaking on the minimum wage and how it will affect the hospitality industry. The meeting is free to attend and CDC guidelines will be followed. For more information, contact President John Paeno at 239-221-8218 or membership chair Trish Leonard at 239-405-8115. The Downtown Alliance is a non-partisan group whose mission is to collaborate, communicate, educate, advocate and build awareness for Bonita Springs’ downtown area. For more information about joining the group, visit BonitaDowntownAlliance.com
 

Christine Hause

CHARLOTTE STATE BANK & TRUST PLANS WEBINAR ON INTEREST RATE CHANGES 

Social-distancing concerns led Charlotte State Bank & Trust Vice President Christine Hause to conduct her annual trust and investment management seminars as webinars rather than in-person sessions as in the past. The next complimentary webinar, “Are You Prepared for Interest Rate or Market Fluctuations?,” will be Friday from 10 to 11 a.m. Hause will be joined by Portfolio Manager Gregory Thomas to discuss how investments will react if interest rates drop or increase. To register for the webinar, visit CharlotteStateBank.com or contact Hause at 941-624-1917 or chause@csbtfl.com. 
 

IN THE KNOW

Healthcare Network announces newly elected, re-elected board members 

Healthcare Network, a nonprofit organization working to ensure primary care is accessible to everyone in the community, announced that the board of directors re-elected Haris Domond as chair, Dennis Brown as vice chair, Doug Campbell as treasurer and newly elected Suzanne Bradach as secretary. As a federally qualified health center, Healthcare Network must meet a stringent set of requirements, including operating under a patient-majority board, meaning at least 51% of the governing board or their immediate family must be patients of Healthcare Network. The organization’s newest location, the Nichols Community Health Center, is a 50,000-square-foot primary care medical center in Golden Gate. For more information, visit HealthcareSWFL.org or call 239-658-3000. 
 

CHARITABLE NOTES

Friends of Rookery Bay receives $10,000 Community Foundation grant 

Friends of Rookery Bay has received a $10,000 general operating support grant from the Community Foundation of Collier County. Friends of Rookery Bay supports the 110,000-acre Rookery Bay Research Reserve’s education, research, conservation and community outreach programs. “The Friends’ board is extremely grateful to the foundation and its donors for shifting from program support to funding critical operations during this extremely difficult time. The grant will help in our mission and ability to protect 40% of Collier County’s coastline, which is part of Rookery Bay Research Reserve, for generations to come,” said Tom Marquardt, president of the Friends of Rookery Bay board of directors. Friends of Rookery Bay canceled its annual Bash for the Bay fundraiser that had been scheduled for March 13 and the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center remains closed. Both decisions have impacted the Friends of Rookery Bay’s income, which continues through donations, grants, eco-tours and online nature store sales. Tours can be booked at RookeryBay.org or by calling 239-590-5972. A summer special offers $20 off per person on boat tours. 
 

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