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Gulfshore Business Daily: November 20

Metropolitan Naples aerial. Details below.



Fred Pezeshkan and Jerry Starkey’s company Metropolitan Naples LLC completed the purchase of land in the Bayshore Gateway Triangle from the Collier County Redevelopment Agency (CRA) on Nov. 13. Starkey and Pezeshkan won a CRA design competition to create a community that would be transformative and stimulate redevelopment and entered into an agreement to purchase the property in 2016 contingent upon receipt of entitlements and relocation of an existing 190-foot communication tower on the site. The community will be known as Metropolitan Naples and will be comprised of three mixed-use buildings. Humphreys & Partners Architects will serve as the master architect and coordinate the overall community design and building vernacular. Each building will have ground-floor retail and restaurants that will conceal internal structured parking. On top of the retail and parking will be luxury residences, Class A office space and potentially a luxury hotel.


Video courtesy of WINK News


Deputy Chief Anthony Sizemore will temporarily lead Cape Coral Police Department. In Sizemore’s 22 years with Cape Coral Police Department, he’s seen it all, WINK News reports. “I’ve held every rank in the police department from working the street to being a training officer,” Sizemore says. “I was a detective in our major crimes unit, was a sergeant leading a squad.” You might recognize Sizemore from his days as the public information officer. From there, he rose to deputy chief. Now, he will take on the role of interim police chief, which doesn’t necessarily mean Sizemore has the inside track on becoming the permanent chief to replace Chief Dave Newlan, who is set to retire Friday. Cape Coral, Southwest Florida’s largest city, hopes to name a new chief by June. 


Lee Health is in urgent need of convalescent plasma donations to help refill supply levels. Under an emergency use authorization (EUA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has made investigational convalescent plasma available for the treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to fight COVID-19. Convalescent plasma refers to blood plasma collected from people who have recovered from COVID-19. That plasma is then used to treat others with advanced illness as part of the clinical trial. The blood donor must have had a positive test for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), be symptom-free for at least 14 days, and be otherwise eligible to donate blood. The procedure is the same as any routine blood donation. After donation, the blood is processed in the lab to obtain the plasma component. The patient is transfused with the donor’s convalescent plasma, which contains antibodies that may attack the virus and may help the patient recover more rapidly. To volunteer, call 239-343-2332 or email COVID.plasma@LeeHealth.org. Email is preferred. All donations collected by Lee Health stay in our community and are used exclusively for Lee Health patients.

Video courtesy WINK News


Marco Island Farmers Market and its 71 booths was back in business this week, taking precautions to make shopping safer during the pandemic, WINK News reports. The city of Marco Island estimates 2,400 people showed up for the first day of the market Wednesday. It runs weekly from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays through April 14. “A lot of our vendors this is their main income,” says Samantha Malloy, the manager of parks, recreation and culture for the city. Malloy said safety measures, including hand sanitizer, vendor masks, to-go food and social distancing, are a priority. “We encourage people to wear masks,” she says.


The southeast corner of Alico Road and Esplanade Boulevard in Fort Myers will be home to a new 7-Eleven convenience store with a car wash, supplying fuel and sundries to the emerging submarket, said LandQwest Senior Associate Brett Low. Sered 64 Alico LLC’s $2 million acquisition of 2.68 acres at The Commons at Esplanade is Low’s fourth closed convenience transaction with another scheduled for the first quarter of 2021. Low represented both the buyer and seller, Alico West Fund LLC. The purchase of the two adjacent parcels leaves just three outparcels at Esplanade, where entitled uses include hospitality, medical/dental, health/fitness, restaurant and retail. Click here for information on the remaining pad sites. 


MK Architecture has been awarded the architectural design services for the first phase of the new Parker Commons Office Buildings, located on the Daniels Road frontage at Parker Commons Office Park. The project will consist of two 7,300-square-foot, one-story office buildings and one 22,200-square-foot, two-story office building. This speculative office building development is indicative of the growing demand for office space in Lee County.  The project is being developed by Parker Crossings LLC, and is expected to be complete during 2021. MK Architecture specializes in office, hospitality, commercial and multi-family architecture with offices in Fort Myers, Naples, and Lexington, Kentucky. 


The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) is participating in Small Business Saturday, to be held on Nov. 28. Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses and strengthening communities across the country. Created by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday serves as the ceremonial kickoff to the holiday shopping season for small businesses across the U.S. The Florida SBDC Network recently partnered with Florida Chamber Foundation and UWF Haas Center to conduct a survey of nearly 5,000 business owners. Preliminary findings from the study revealed the significant uncertainty that exists among small businesses in the state, with 60.8% revealing they are extremely concerned about the economy and 45.4% expressing their concern about their ability to continue operations. The Florida SBDC Network encourages small businesses to participate in Small Business Saturday and urges consumers to support small businesses during this day and throughout the holiday season. For more information, visit ShopSmall.com.



Fort Myers theater perform shows in-person and for virtual viewing

The Florida Repertory Theatre in Fort Myers put on its first play in its new outdoor venue Wednesday. Florida Rep is performing “Golden: A Tribute to the Golden Age of American Musical Theatre.” It’s part of the venue’s outdoor series, which is something that was created during the pandemic. That show runs until Nov. 25. Then, “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” begins on Dec. 4. Attendance is being limited to 70 people shows. Masks and chairs will be provided. Virtual viewing options are also available.

Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum Store set for Museum Store Sunday

The Seminole Tribe of Florida’s Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum will once again participate in Museum Store Sunday on Nov. 29. The Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum store will be among more than 1,400 museum stores representing all 50 states, 23 countries, and five continents to offer quality gifts filled with inspiration and educational value. This year due to COVID-19, the celebration of Museum Store Sunday will be via the online store at seminole-store.com. This will be the fourth year the Museum Store Association, based in Washington, D.C., has staged Museum Store Sunday. It is designed to showcase how museum stores perform integral and multi-faceted work for their institutions – from earning income and extending mission-related programs, to visitor engagement and educational outreach through store products, programs, and experiences.



Christopher L. Pope

Pavese Law Firm attorney earns board certification in construction law

Pavese Law Firm Attorney Christopher L. Pope recently earned board certification in construction law in the Florida State Bar. In 2019, Pope also became board-certified in condominium and planned development law, making him one of only two attorneys in Florida, and the only one in Southwest Florida, to have both of these specialty certifications. Board certification is the highest level of recognition by the Florida Bar. Only about 7% of Florida’s more than 107,000 lawyers have earned board certification. In the past five years, an average of only 39.3% of those seeking board certification in construction law qualified for the recognition, according to Pavese Law Firm. Pope joined the Pavese Law Firm in 2012 and became a partner in 2018. His clients include top national homebuilders, contractors, developers, condominiums and community associations.

London Bay Homes ‘Mallory’ construction underway

Construction is underway on the Mallory, a new London Bay Homes design in Mediterra. The Mallory is located in the Cabreo neighborhood, adjacent to Mediterra’s landscaped walking trails, and within a bike or walk to the community’s gardens. The Mallory features an open-concept floor plan offering lake views through a wall of sliding glass doors opening to the outdoor living area. The single-story Mallory offers 3,377 square feet of living space. The Mallory will be move-in ready in April 2021 and available for $1.81 million. For more information, visit MediterraNaples.com.



Fatima Ruiz-Reyes

The Immokalee Foundation awarded $125,000 grant

The Immokalee Foundation has received a $125,000 grant from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation to support the foundation’s Immokalee Readers and Career Pathways programs. Immokalee Readers is an early intervention literacy tutoring program that utilizes trained, paid high school students from The Immokalee Foundation – many of whom are interested in pursuing careers in Education & Human Services. This in-demand employment sector is part of the foundation’s Career Pathways program, which provides services, educational opportunities, and resources to middle and high school students to help them achieve professional careers of their choosing. For more information, visit immokaleefoundation.org.

The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools receives $5,000 grant

The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools Inc. has received a grant for $5,000 from the Motorola Solutions Foundation, the charitable arm of Motorola Solutions. Through the grant, The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools will teach middle and high school students about solar energy and its powerful potential. Students will learn about all the applications of solar power and the benefits of this renewable energy source and teach middle school students what they have learned as they install a solar power system and hydroponic garden system at the middle school. Students will also engineer systems to grow vegetables vertically in towers, learning to build and plumb the system. Finally, students will learn about the careers that provide these services. There will be 1,325 middle school students and 130 high school students participating in this project.

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