Gulfshore Business Daily: Feb. 24

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Video courtesy of WINK News

WINK NEWS CHIEF METEOROLOGIST JIM FARRELL ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

A legendary member of the WINK News team has announced his retirement. After 29 years, Chief Meteorologist Jim Farrell will leave WINK next month. Starting at WINK News in 1992, Farrell built a reputation of reliable weather forecasting that is second to none. His straightforward just-the-facts approach helped calm the Southwest Florida community during many natural disasters, perhaps none as significant as Hurricane Charley’s infamous turn in August 2004. While others focused on a Tampa Bay landfall, Farrell noticed a wobble and told Southwest Florida to get ready, undoubtedly saving lives. During the past three decades, Farrell also mentored many meteorologists who are now serving communities all over the country, WINK News reports
 

COLLIER COUNTY NAMED AMONG PLACES WITH MOST FAVORABLE COST OF LIVING IN FLORIDA

Collier County ranked No. 4 in SmartAsset’s list of “Places with the Most Favorable Cost of Living” in Florida. The study compares median income and cost of living data nationwide to find the counties where people hold the most purchasing power. Collier was listed with $38,130 in cost of living; $69,653 in median income; and Purchasing Power Index of 68.90. The full study results, methodology and interactive map can be found here.
 

NEW COLLIER COUNTY REGIONAL PARK SET TO OPEN THIS YEAR IN GOLDEN GATE ESTATES

The construction process is in full swing on Big Corkscrew Island Regional Park, being built in the Golden Gate Estates area near the Collier County fairgrounds. Families are hoping it can be a safe place for children to stay active during the pandemic. Plans for the first phase of the $45 million park include fields for recreational sports, an outdoor gym, a playground, a community center, an event lawn, a dog park and an aquatics center. The county says the north end of the project is set to open in April and the south end of the park should be open by July.
 

STEVENS CONSTRUCTION COMPLETES EVANS AVENUE UTILITY PROJECT 

Stevens Construction has completed a utilities improvement project for the City of Fort Myers, announced Dan Adams, vice president, South Florida and partner. Stevens Construction provided a new storm drainage system, sanitary system, water mains and utility connections to the residences along a quarter-mile of Evans Avenue from Dr. Ella Piper Way to Provident Road while reconstructing the roadway. Completed as scheduled in nine months, the Evans Avenue roadway was completely removed down to the subgrade and rebuilt with new sidewalks, curbing, gutters, sodding, crosswalks, paving, striping and roadway signage. The Stevens Construction team included Alan Bennett, project manager; Jeff Hollis, superintendent; and Rebeccah Cabana, project administrator. 
 

NEW LUXURY APARTMENTS PLANNED FOR NAPLES

MK Architecture is currently completing the construction documents for the Residences at 710 Goodlette-Frank Road, in Naples, for Peter Shaheen of Shaheen Development, in Saginaw, Michigan. The project is located in the Commons Professional Park, consisting of 63 luxury apartments in two buildings, four stories over parking and five stories over parking, with large one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. There will also be a 4,600 square foot amenity center, resort-style pool, fire pits and lush tropical landscaping. The project has received all approvals from the City of Naples Planning Department, Design Review Board, FAA, and the Naples City Council.  This project is slated to break ground for construction in the fall.
 

FORT MYERS CRA PARTNERS WITH HABITAT FOR HOME PRESERVATION PROGRAM

The Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) new Home Preservation Program will partner on March 17 with Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties. Homeowners with outstanding code violations may qualify to have projects/repairs completed by Habitat. The maximum assistance is $25,000 for owner-occupied dwellings with existing code compliance issues that need to be cured. The CRA and Habitat will be accepting applications on April 1. The program is available for homeowners in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard redevelopment area. For more information, email cra@cityftmyers.com. 
 

Video courtesy of WINK News

RESTAURATEUR SAYS IF YOU DON’T LIKE HIS MASK-LESS POLICY, DON’T EAT AT HIS NAPLES RESTAURANT

The message from one Southwest Florida restaurateur is that if you’re not comfortable with his restaurant’s setup during the pandemic, then don’t dine there. The owner of Mino, an Italian restaurant and pizzeria in downtown Naples, says he came to America more than 40 years ago to live in a free county. Since Massimo “Mino” Puglielli doesn’t agree with the science or politics behind masks, he put up a sign letting customers know he doesn’t agree with the city’s mask mandate either. It says so in big bold letters on the door of his restaurant at Dockside Boardwalk, WINK News reports.
 

SWFL INC. COMMUNITY EXPO HELD AT PROMENADE AT BONITA BAY THURSDAY

Business professionals and community members are invited to attend the SWFL Inc. Community Expo held from 1 to 4 p.m. this Thursday, Feb. 25, at the Promenade at Bonita Bay for free. The event includes table displays from more than 60 local businesses set up under the covered walkways of the Promenade. The Expo will feature live music, giveaways, food samples and the opportunity to meet face-to-face with potential vendors. All exhibitors and attendees are encouraged to wear a face mask.
 

FIVE BELOW CEO SHARES LIFE JOURNEY WITH NEXTGEN SPEAKER SERIES

Joel Anderson, President & CEO of the retail chain Five Below, is sharing his life journey and lessons learned with the NextGen Speaker Series this Friday, Feb. 26. Networking begins at 8 a.m. with the presentation following at 9 a.m. Before joining Five Below, Anderson served as President and CEO of Walmart.com, the multi-billion dollar U.S. dotcom business unit. Anderson also served in leadership positions at Lenox Group and Toys “R” Us Inc. Register for the interactive event here
 

Shirley Wazny

GCIP WELCOMES WAZNY TO FIRM

Gulf Coast International Properties (GCIP) has welcomed Shirley Wazny to the firm. A licensed Realtor in both Florida and Michigan, the Northwood University graduate holds a Certificate in Executive Management from Notre Dame. Wazny was elected to the Board of Directors in Saginaw in 2004, serving more than 40,000 residents. She has a background in accounting/tax preparation and banking and has traveled the world as a VIP Executive handler. Wazny also participates in community-based organizations including Women in Leadership and the Optimist Club.
 

COSTAR NAMES POWER BROKERS QUARTERLY DEALS SWFL WINNERS

CoStar Group Inc., the leading provider of commercial real estate information, analytics and online marketplaces, has announced the Power Brokers Quarterly Deals Southwest Florida winners for the fourth quarter of 2020. Top Industrial Leasing Deals category honorees included Jim Garinger, CCIM, SIOR, and Maddie Sawatzky of Colliers International Southwest Florida; Shawn Stoneburner and Gary Tasman of Cushman & Wakefield | Commercial Property Southwest Florida; Michael J. Frye, CCIM|CEO with RE/MAX Realty Group; Stan Stouder of CRE Consultants; and Derek Bornhorst, Robert Johnston and Jerry Messonnier of Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services. Top Office Leasing Deals honorees included Stoneburner and Tasman; Chase Mayhugh of Mayhugh Commercial Advisors; Adam Palmer CCIM and Laura Cari of LandQwest Commercial; Tasman and Gretchen Smith of Cushman & Wakefield | Commercial Property Southwest Florida; and Enn Luthringer, CCIM of CRE Consultants and Rodney Fidler of Lee & Associates. Top Retail Leasing Deals honorees included Jaclyn Langholz and Natalie Puccini at The Shopping Center Group LLC; Doug Olson, Brent Westerfield and Darren Moore of Trinity Commercial Group; Daniel Solomon and David Eggnatz of Katz & Associates; Clint Sherwood, CCIM, and Tara Stokes at Investment Properties Corp.; and Andrew Saluan of AJS Realty Group Inc. and David Stevens, CCIM of Investment Properties Corp. Top Sales Deals honorees included Bradley Capas, Robert Given, Zachary Sackley and Neal Victor of Cushman & Wakefield; Avery Klann, Hampton Beebe, Jonathan Senn, Tyler Minix, Kyle Kundiger, Tal Frydman and Eric Gfesser of ARA Newmark; Lisa Widmier of CBRE; Saluan; Aidan Cleghorn, Mark Bethmann, Greg Cleghorn and Brian Rossi of BellCornerstone; and Dave Desper of CBRE and  William Rollins, ALC, CCIM and Justin Thibaut, CCIM of LSI Companies Inc.
 

WILDERNESS COUNTRY CLUB TO INSTALL ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATION

When residents of Wilderness Country Club book their tee times later this spring, they also will have the ability to make a reservation to recharge their electric vehicles all at the convenience of the clubhouse. The private, gated golf course community, located on the east side of Goodlette-Frank Road just north of Golden Gate Parkway, plans to install a ChargePoint Electric Vehicle (EV) charging station within the next month. The service will be available exclusively for club members and members’ guests. The charging station is planned for the club’s main parking lot next to the tennis courts. Members will be able to book a reservation through the ChargePoint app, plugin their vehicle, and leave it while they go out for their round of golf or while dining at the clubhouse. As a certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, the club closely adheres to recycling initiatives, LED lighting, automated shutoff of lighting and other sustainability practices.
 

AUDUBON COUNTRY CLUB HONORED WITH GOLDEN FORK AWARD

Audubon Country Club in Naples has been honored by Golf Inc. magazine with a 2021 Golden Fork award. Audubon’s Courtside Café placed third in the New Private Club category in the publication’s annual Golden Fork competition. Golf Inc., the world’s only magazine for golf course developers, owners and management company executives, annually recognizes the best new amenities and the golf industry’s top dining facilities at public and private golf clubs in its February/March issue. In summer 2020, Audubon Country Club unveiled its new 19,000-square-foot Lifestyle Center. The two-story Lifestyle Center provides members with a new casual indoor/outdoor dining experience at the Courtside Café while also modernizing and expanding the club’s fitness and tennis offerings. Golf Inc. recognized 19 honorees this year, 11 in the Golden Fork categories for best new and renovated dining facilities and eight in three amenity categories.
 

CHARITABLE NOTES

 

Video courtesy of WINK News

Delivery drivers keep Harry Chapin Food Bank running

Southwest Florida has been doing its part to make sure our family, friends and neighbors in need have a meal to put on the table. That starts at the Harry Chapin Food Bank, where the real superstars of the operation are the people who drive the delivery trucks. They drive to grocery stores such as Publix and load hundreds or thousands of pounds of donated food onto the truck before going off to another grocery location. Donations to the Harry Chapin Food Bank not only help them purchase food, but it also helps fuel their trucks, so employees can get the job done and feed people in need, WINK News reports.
 

Ronald McDonald House Charities of SW Florida begins welcoming families after COVID-19 hiatus 

Ronald McDonald House Charities Southwest Florida(RMHC SWFL) announces that after closing its doors in April 2020 due to COVID-19, it has begun welcoming families back this month at 25% capacity. The charity, which provides free-of-charge housing and related services to families with hospitalized children, has begun executing a four-phase reentry plan focusing on serving families while ensuring the highest safety. In conformance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other safety requirements, capacity in the House will increase to 50%, 75%, and 100%, in phases two, three, and four respectively. Philanthropy funds 100% of Ronald McDonald House operations. To donate, contact Karen Zelden at 239-437-0202 or click here.   
 

Dr. Jaclynn Faffer

Naples Senior Center awarded Southwest Florida Community Foundation grant

Naples Senior Center has been awarded a $41,848 grant from the Southwest Florida Community Foundation. This renewal of funding for 2021 will be used to support the center’s Dementia Respite Support program. Naples Senior Center is the only human services agency of its kind, providing comprehensive “one-stop-shop” services addressing the emotional and social needs of seniors in Collier and southern Lee counties. The center’s Dementia Respite Support program is a weekly, four-hour program that offers a safe and stimulating environment providing activities for individuals with early to mid-stage dementia. Since launching the program several years ago, the number of groups participating within the program has grown to 10 in Naples and Marco Island. 
 

STARability Foundation receives donation

The STARability Foundation, based in Naples, received a $5,000 contribution from the NextGen Speaker Series in honor of its upcoming featured speaker, Joel Anderson. Anderson is the president and CEO of Five Below Inc. He will share his life journey and lessons learned along the way in an interactive virtual event this Friday, Feb. 26. Registration is still open here.
 

State Farm invests in affordable homeownership

State Farm has awarded Habitat for Humanity of Collier Countya grant of $5,000 to go towards the construction of an affordable home for a Collier County family struggling with housing instability. State Farm supports the communities they serve through Good Neighbor Citizenship company grants and the State Farm Companies Foundation. The insurance provider has made a commitment to improving and maintaining the vitality of our communities through their investment in organizations that support affordable housing, job training, neighborhood revitalization and more. As a top provider of affordable homes in Collier County, the local Habitat affiliate was chosen as the beneficiary of one of State Farm’s grants. The State Farm grant will fund the construction of a family room in a new home in the neighborhood of Vincent’s Acres, Habitat Collier’s newest subdivision in Naples.
 
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