Gulfshore Business Daily: February 5

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Lead Photo: B&I Contractors installed UV-C light racks at the AdventHealth Training Facility to help keep Tampa Bay Buccaneers players safe. Details below.

 

SEAGATE TO DEVELOP 40 ACRES OF LAND AT ALICO ROAD AND I-75

Seagate Development Group is developing 40 acres of commercial land at Alico Road and I-75 in Fort Myers. Closing on this transaction occurred last month, with Shawn Stoneburner of Cushman and Wakefield – Commercial Property Southwest Florida representing the seller and Derek Bornhorst of Lee & Associates representing the buyer. With one tenant already signed up for a 35,000-square-foot building on one of the parcels, the business park will focus on single-tenant office, flex and industrial buildings for lease and sale. This project comes as business owners are looking to improve efficiencies without the typical barriers created in a multi-tenant environment. The Fort-Myers-based firm will begin clearing and filling the site next month and commence utility construction at the end of June. Construction on the first building will commence in April, and all of the building and infrastructure development will be completed by October.
 

TRADER JOE’S GROCERY STORE OPENS TODAY IN FORT MYERS

Trader Joe’s grocery store is set to launch at 8 a.m. today in Fort Myers, bringing new jobs to Southwest Florida. The first Trader Joe’s in Florida opened in 2012 in North Naples, but this is the first location in Lee County for the national chain. Masks and social distancing are mandatory and the store will only be allowing 40 to 50 customers inside at any given time. The new store on U.S. 41 in Page Field Commons, 4893 S. Cleveland Ave., will be open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. 
 
 

LEE COUNTY COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF 427 ACRES IN ALVA

Lee County has completed the acquisition of 427 acres in Alva through the Conservation 20/20 program. The parcel is located directly south of State Route 80 and less than a mile west of Hickey Creek Mitigation Park. The acquisition adds to a large area of existing conservation land in northeast Lee County, which protects an area nearly 6 miles wide and 3 miles long. The Lee County commissioners approved the $4.4 million purchase contract for the property in August. Community representatives and nonprofit organizations have advocated for the perseveration of the land, which is adjacent to the River Hall subdivision and formerly referred to as the Carter Ranch. The land was purchased from Amtel Farms, Inc., and this conservation area will now be known as Oak Hammock Preserve. Passive recreation opportunities including hiking trails with parking are anticipated on this preserve, the county reports.
 
 

LSI COMPANIES EXPANDS WITH NEW PUNTA GORDA OFFICE

Fort Myers-based LSI Companies Inc. has expanded its regional business operations with the opening of a branch in Punta Gorda. As the company continues to conduct business in Lee and Collier counties, this expansion will better serve homebuilder, developer, landowner and investment clients in Charlotte County and elsewhere in Southwest Florida. “It is important to have a physical presence in the area where we have conducted business for the past 21 years,” says Randy Thibaut, CEO of LSI Companies. “This expansion supports our long-term vision for our company as we continue to service those in Charlotte County and Southwest Florida as a whole.” LSI Companies’ new branch is located at 122 Nesbit St., Suite 111, in the heart of downtown Punta Gorda.
 

RED SOX SPRING TRAINING BEGINS FEB. 17; JETBLUE PARK TO BE AT 24% CAPACITY

The Boston Red Sox will begin spring training Feb. 17 in Fort Myers. Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to hold their first workout that day and full-squad workouts begin Feb. 22, with the first game at JetBlue Park scheduled for Feb. 27. Workouts will be closed to the public due to COVID-19. The team will play 17 Grapefruit League games at JetBlue Park, and the stadium will operate at 24% capacity (around 2,400 fans per game) with social distancing and safety protocols in place. All tickets will be sold in physically distanced “pods” comprised primarily of two to four seats that will allow for at least 6 feet between groups. Season ticket holders will be offered the first opportunity to attend exhibition games and additional tickets may go on sale to the general public depending on availability. This will be the Red Sox’s 10th spring training season at JetBlue Park at Fenway South, WINK News reports.
 

PINE RIDGE RV & BOAT STORAGE NOW OPEN IN FORT MYERS

Pine Ridge RV & Boat Storage is now open in Fort Myers, offering larger storage bays, enhanced security features and onsite amenities. Southwest Florida’s newest storage facility contains 127 universal rental units for RVs and boats in 30-, 40-, 50- and 70-foot storage bays that can accommodate large motorhomes or vessels in addition to personal watercraft, all-terrain vehicles and other items within a single space. The property’s perimeter is fully fenced with a gated entry, and a state-of-the-art security system has 24/7 camera surveillance. An onsite property manager is available during business hours. Each storage bay includes power hookups and access to premium amenities, including a wash station, waste repository and trash removal services. All units have 14-foot height clearances and 10-foot shaded overhangs for sun protection. Southview Studios was the project architect and Brooks and Freund was the general contractor.
 
 

SKYLINE SELF STORAGE COMPLETED IN CAPE CORAL

Ringland Development Corp. has completed Skyline Self, a five-building, 45,000-square-foot, 4.8-plus-acre storage facility. Located at 824 SW 42nd Terrace, Cape Coral, all storage units are on the ground floor. Each building features straight, lighted and wide hallways, along with 10- to 12-foot-high ceilings. The gated Skyline Self Storage also offers cutting-edge technology for tenants’ safety, including 36 video surveillance cameras with motion detection. Other features at Skyline Self Storage range from on-site assistance every day, to the city’s only free moving truck delivery service. Skyline Self Storage has a 200-panel solar power system as well as bike lanes and a winding sidewalk for pedestrians. The property encompasses more than 1,800 native trees and plants.
 
 

LEE CLERK OF COURT ANNOUNCES COO

The Lee Clerk of Courts Office has promoted Kevin Karnes to chief operating officer (COO). Karnes will begin the new position on Feb. 8. Karnes previously served as chief courts officer, managing close to 200 team members. 
 
 

Molly Deckart

THE ALLIANCE FOR THE ARTS NAMES NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The Alliance for the Arts has selected Molly Deckart as the organization’s executive director. Deckart has spent the last 15 years working in the nonprofit arts sector. With a degree in Fine Arts from Boise State University, Deckart has a background as both a visual artist and an executive director. Deckart joins the Alliance for the Arts from Boise, Idaho where she was named one of Idaho Business Review’s Women of the Year in 2020 for her work in the arts. Deckart founded and served as the executive director for both the Boise Film Foundation and the Idaho Horror Film Festival, one of the largest film festivals in the state of Idaho. Deckart is currently welcoming community members, artists and art lovers to schedule times for a responsibly distanced meet-and-greet outdoors in the Alliance ArtsPark. 
 

B&I CONTRACTORS INSTALLS UV-C LIGHT RACKS FOR TAMPA BAY BUCS

B&I Contractors has installed UV-C light racks at the AdventHealth Training to help keep Tampa Bay Buccaneers players safe.  In June 2020, B&I was approached by AdventHealth Training Center Director of Facilities, Bill Burch to install UV-C light racks in all air handlers. The UV technology reduces airborne pathogens such as bacteria, mold and viruses, including COVID-19, according to B&I Contractors. With only a few weeks until the beginning of training and a short lead time, B&I, in partnership will Carroll Air Systems, secured the delivery of the units and performed the installation by its target date of Aug. 1, 2020. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the first NFL team to install a UV-system in their training facility,  B&I Contractors states.
 
 

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON DAVELER CENTER FOR INNOVATION

PBS Contractors broke ground to mark the start of the construction for the $500,00 Frank and Ellen Daveler Center for Innovation in Learning at Champions For Learning on Jan. 29. The project includes both an expansion and a renovation. The new Center for Innovation in Learning will provide a collaborative, multi-use space for teachers, students, parents, volunteers and community partners to support one another. Leading the renovation kickoff ceremony were several members of the Champions For Learning Board of Directors, including Barbara Melvin, Dr. Bruce Mousa, Chuck Carlsen, Stephanie Lucarelli and Susan McManus. The Frank and Ellen Daveler Center For Innovation in Learning is scheduled to be complete by spring 2021. Champions For Learning supporter Frank Daveler will be among those honored at this year’s virtual Celebration of Champions event
 

PRSA GULF COAST CHAPTER INSTALLS 2021 BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The Gulf Coast Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America announced its official 2021 Gulf Coast Chapter Board at its first virtual event of 2021. Collier County Sheriff Rambosk conducted the swearing-in of the officers, including president Cindi Withorn, Community Foundation of Collier County; past president and marketing and communications committee chair Catherine Bergerson, NewsBank Inc.; board ambassador Clay W. Cone, Cone Communications Co.; treasurer and 2022 president-elect Sara Dewberry, Kudzu Kreative; program chair Wendi Fowler, BECEO Enterprises & FowlerTech; diversity equity and inclusion chair Pam Fultz, VI at Bentley Village; publicity chair Margie Hapke, self-employed; ethics chair Donna Heiser, Ave Maria School of Law; membership chair Courtney Jolly, Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens; partnership committee chair Julie Pedretti, Healthcare Network; communications manager Kaydee Tuff, Shelter for Abused Women & Children; communications coordinator Aome Rogers, PBS Contractors; Russell Tuff, PRSA National Delegate/Sunshine District representative, Social-Impact; and secretary Renee Waller, Naples Botanical Garden.
 

BERAJA MEDICAL INSTITUTE JOINS QUIGLEY EYE SPECIALISTS

Quigley Eye Specialists has partnered with Beraja Medical Institute (BMI) and Douglas Surgery Center (collectively BMI), a South Florida leader in the diagnosis and treatment of vision disorders. Beraja Medical Institute has been providing care to Miami-Dade County for more than 30 years and now joins 19 other locations under Quigley Eye Specialists’ ownership in Florida. This partnership will establish Quigley Eye Specialists’ presence in Miami-Dade County. BMI is led by ophthalmologists Dr. Roberto Beraja and Dr. Victor Beraja. Together, Quigley Eye Specialists and BMI have 36 optometric physicians and ophthalmic surgeons with three surgery centers in Southwest and Southeast Florida.
 

Philip Sheets

GATES CONSTRUCTION PROMOTES SHEETS TO ESTIMATOR

Gates Construction has promoted Phil Sheets to estimator. Since joining the firm in 2017, Sheets has advanced through progressively more responsible positions in estimating, the company states. He has earned the promotion from junior estimator to estimator by playing a key role in assisting senior estimators, developing and managing databases, performing quantity take-offs, and reviewing bid documents. He has more than 12 years of construction experience and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in construction management from Ball State University.  Sheets is based out of Gates Construction’s headquarters office in Bonita Springs.
 

CHARITABLE NOTES

 

Catholic Charities using grant money to re-house people pushed into homelessness

More families than ever are being pushed to the streets as they struggle to make ends meet. But Catholic Charities has received a grant to help 40 families by covering their rent and utilities. Catholic Charities so far has helped more than a dozen families in need with the grant money, but it has more than $600,000 left and is looking to use it before June. If you or someone you know needs help, call the Lee County Department of Human and Veterans Services at 239-533-7996. 
 

 

Video courtesy of WINK News

Lee County dentist gives out smiles to low-income families

A dentist hopes to help people make ends meet while getting a little healthier. Dr. William Truax, D.D.S., president of Project Dentists Care, works with families in poverty to try and turn their lives around by giving them a free smile. Project Dentists Care, 239-561-1949, is funded through the United Way, the Florida Department of Health-Lee County and private donors. In 2020, Truax helped about 1,900 patients. He says nothing beats the feeling of seeing people love their smiles for the first time. You’re eligible to see Truax if your income is under $24,000 a year or if you’re living off Social Security, WINK News reports.
 

McMahon Foundation establishes endowed scholarship fund

Timothy S. McMahon, president of TSM Management and TSM Consulting & Capitol, has established the McMahon Foundation Endowed Scholarship Fund with the Greater Naples AAUW Charitable Foundation Inc. He selected the Foundation based on its 20-year history of providing academic scholarships to deserving local women, age 21 and up, who are pursuing degrees at an accredited college or university and who demonstrate academic achievement and financial need as determined by the scholarship committee. McMahon originally established the McMahon Foundation in 2012 for the purpose of providing assistance to organizations and individuals that align with his values and beliefs. Applications for scholarshipsare available now. The deadline for submission is March 28.
 

Goodwill assists senior citizens with online pre-registration for COVID-19 vaccine

Goodwill Industries of Southwest Floridais helping those over the age of 65, who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, to navigate the pre-registration website. The state recently launched the statewide website in an effort to assist Florida residents in scheduling their vaccination appointments. But, not all seniors have access to computers or the knowledge on how to navigate the online system and properly complete the application. Goodwill Community Resource Center (CRC) coordinators typically offer digital skills training to the Southwest Florida community. Those with access to computers and the internet who prefer not to go out can still get guidance with the online application by calling a Goodwill CRC to schedule an over-the-phone appointment. A list of CRC locations and phone numbers can be found on the Goodwill website.
 

Meals of Hope among nonprofits selected for ‘Give Where You Live’ fundraiser

Meals of Hope, Southwest Florida’s largest food pantry provider, is among the 40 nonprofits selected for the seventh annual Give Where You Live Collier, a Collier County-wide movement to celebrate and increase philanthropy after a year of canceled events and decreased donations due to COVID-19. Through its mobile panties and meal packing events last year, Meals of Hope distributed more than six million pounds of food to those in need in our community. That’s the weight of about 240 school buses, according to Meals of Hope President and CEO Steve Popper. The online fundraiser takes place from noon on Feb. 10 through noon on Feb. 11. The 24-hour online fundraiser is designed to remind the community of the importance of making a difference where you live.
 
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