Gulfshore Business Daily: July 31

Lead Photo: Owen-Ames-Kimball Co. completed renovations of Sanibel Captiva Community Bank’s new Bridge branch location. Details below.



Lee and Collier Counties were included in SmartAsset’s list of “Places Receiving the Most Value for their Property Taxes” in Florida. Lee County ranked No. 2 in the state, while Collier County ranked No. 10. The financial technology company ranked the places where home values have risen the most throughout a five-year period and included metrics on school ratings and effective property tax rates. According to the study, home values in Collier County were among those that rose the most in Florida. For additional information on the study, including the methodology and interactive map, click here.


Work to replace the fishing pier at Matlacha Park, 4577 Pine Island Road, is anticipated to start Monday, Aug. 3, weather permitting, and the work is expected to be completed in spring 2021. During construction, a dozen parking spaces will be blocked off for equipment staging. In April, Lee County commissioners awarded a contract to Kelly Brothers Inc. for the removal and replacement of the fishing pier, which is more than 50 years old and is closed because it has deteriorated from the elements. The project will include new benches, garbage cans, lighting, fish-cleaning stations and ADA accessibility features at the 9-acre Matlacha Community Park along Matlacha Pass. The $833,805 pier replacement is being funded largely through tourist development taxes collected on short-term lodging rentals.


Effective Aug. 1, Keller Williams Naples (KW Naples) is expanding its presence in Southwest Florida with an alliance with brokerage firm Caine Premier Properties. In the Naples area, Caine Premier Properties’ $100 million per year in volume builds on KW Naples’ $200,000-plus million per year in sales volume. Caine Premier Properties’ agents will have immediate access to the “KW Consumer App,” a proprietary app built by Keller Williams and exclusive to its agents. The AI-driven app, developed by partnering with Next Door and Google, is neighborhood-based as opposed to zip code-driven, enabling consumers to create a home search based on neighborhood trends and happenings for a more “lifestyle compatible” search. Caine Premier Properties will be known as “Caine Premier Properties, powered by KW Naples.”


Crowne Plaza Fort Myers at Bell Tower Shops has been awarded the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA) Seal of Commitment, signifying that the hotel has achieved enhanced safety and sanitation standards as designated by FRLA to ensure the safety of guests and employees. The FRLA award follows the Crowne Plaza at Bell Tower Shops receiving a 2020 American Automobile Association (AAA) Best of Housekeeping designation in April. Only 20% of AAA inspected member properties received this recognition for superior inspection cleanliness scores. Learn more about the Crowne Plaza at Bell Tower Shops Clean Promise program at


Thirsty Biker has launched a mobile app geared toward motorcycle riders across the U.S., aimed to let bikers spend less time planning and more time riding. The app, which launched on July 20, helps bikers enhance their ride and enforce their social circle, providing access to events, biker-friendly bars, live music, riding groups and more. This interactive app is now available for download in the Apple and Google app stores. Kenny Pavlovich developed the Thirsty Biker app. For more information, visit


Owen-Ames-Kimball Co. (O-A-K) has completed renovations of Sanibel Captiva Community Bank’s new Bridge branch location, located at 9311 College Parkway in Fort Myers. The 16,000 square foot, $5 million building is the bank’s eighth and largest location in Southwest Florida. The branch service center is now open to clients and the operations center will be fully occupied by the end of July. The building features two drive-thru lanes, a drive-up ATM, night drop and safe deposit boxes. It also houses the bank’s operations center and over 40 employees, including training facilities and multiple conference rooms. All doors and windows were replaced with new impact-rated systems.  Site work included new lighting, paving and landscaping.  O-A-K provided pre-construction services including constructability reviews and budget estimates as well as construction management services throughout the project. The O-A-K project manager is Fred Doster. The job site superintendent was Jerry Benson, and Matthew Zwack was the vice president of operations and general superintendent. Abel Natali, O-A-K vice president, was the chief estimator. Moore & Spence Architects P.A. served as the architect.


Seagate Development Group announced its new contract with the Area Agency on Aging to design and build its new corporate headquarters. Located at 2830 Winkler Ave., the facility will include a floor plan that enhances workflow and productivity. The facility offers 15,876 square feet of small and large private offices, large meeting rooms and co-working spaces for cubicles. The team at Seagate Development Group is overseeing the design and construction management. Upon completion, the new facility with include updated flooring, cabinetry and countertops, acoustical ceiling enhancements, all new windows and doors, new drywall and paint, updated electrical and plumbing, updated bathroom fixtures, and new parking lot additions to assist with handicap accessibility.


Sanibel Captiva Community Bank donates office space to nonprofits

Sanibel Captiva Community Bank is donating rent-free office space to two Southwest Florida not-for-profit organizations in Fort Myers. The bank’s operations center recently relocated from 7500 College Parkway to its newest branch at 9311 College Parkway, creating approximately 2,700 square feet of available office space. The bank has arranged for the Southwest Florida Chapter of Blessings in a Backpack and the Southwest Florida Symphony to use the space rent-free. Blessings in a Backpack works to provide food on the weekends for elementary-aged children who would otherwise go hungry. Every Friday afternoon, children receive backpacks filled with kid-friendly, ready-to-eat items. Southwest Florida Symphony, Lee County’s only professional orchestra and one of the oldest symphony orchestras on Florida’s Gulf Coast, according to a news release, will use the office space for its administrative and library accommodations.

Charlotte State Bank & Trust Teller Specialists Brielle Neptune-Kiker and Cynthia R. Magallanes display new tennis shoes collected for the Port Charlotte Sunrise Kiwanis annual Shoes for Kids drive.

Bank collects shoes for kids

Charlotte State Bank & Trust collected shores for the Port Charlotte Sunrise Kiwanis annual Shoes for Kids drive. Shoes came from customers, employees and the Executive Network of Charlotte County. In addition, the bank raised $554.75 to purchase shoes through its “Casual for a Cause” program, in which bank employees make donations for the privilege of wearing jeans and sneakers on Fridays. For drop-off locations of shoes or monetary donations, visit

Guadalupe Center receives $15,000 grant to continue virtual programs

Guadalupe Center has received a $15,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Collier County to continue providing virtual learning opportunities for more than 1,400 students in Immokalee. Guadalupe Center temporarily closed its physical campuses in March to thwart the spread of COVID-19, immediately launching a comprehensive virtual program for students in its Early Childhood Education, After-School Tutoring & Summer Enrichment and Tutor Corps programs. The Community Foundation grant will help cover the salaries of teachers and staff, provide tuition assistance for families, and purchase and upgrade the technology used to deliver remote instruction. For more information, visit

The Mental Health Association of Southwest Florida receives $5,000 grant

The Mental Health Association of Southwest Florida (MHASWFL) has received a grant for $5,000, for general operating support, from the Community Foundation of Collier County’s Community Impact Grant pool. This grant pool is made up of donors who created funds that give the board of the Community Foundation of Collier County the latitude to address current community needs. The Mental Health Association of Southwest Florida is dedicated to promoting mental health, preventing mental and substance use conditions and achieving victory over mental illnesses and addictions through advocacy, education, research and service. The association helps families, groups, adults and teens who have experienced and are seeking recovery from mental health issues or addictions.

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