Lead Photo: D.R. Horton’s Lindsford has limited homes available. Details below.
OCTOBER UNEMPLOYMENT RATE AT 5.4% IN SWFL
The unemployment rate was at 5.4% in Southwest Florida compared to 6.4% in Florida last month, according to the October 2020 Labor Market Trends report from CareerSource Southwest Florida. Construction and professional services have the most job gains than statewide growth rates in these industries, the report also shows. The leisure and hospitality industry and trade, transportation and utilities industry showed the greatest loss of jobs in a year-over-year comparison. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity served as the data source. For more information, click here.
NAPLES REAL ESTATE MARKET SEES ANOTHER RECORD MONTH IN CLOSINGS
The Naples real estate market continues to see strong demand in both the single-family and condominium markets, according to the October 2020 Market Report, released by the Naples Area Board of Realtors (NABOR), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island). Buyers are getting a jump on the winter seasonal market as shown by the reduced inventory, increase in multiple bids, and the jump in closed sales. Closed sales activity for the overall market increased 65.2% to 1,249 closed sales in October 2020 from 756 closed sales in October 2019. To view the entire report, visit NaplesArea.com.
TACOS & TEQUILA CANTINA PLANS FOURTH LOCATION IN THE POINTE AT FOUNDERS SQUARE
The fourth location of Tacos & Tequila Cantina is targeted to launch next year in The Pointe at Founders Square, under construction on the southeast corner of Immokalee Road and Collier Boulevard. The local Tex-Mex restaurant will have a 4,600-square-foot corner unit between South Street City Oven and Grill and Skillets at The Pointe, a 36,000-square-foot cluster of restaurants and retail shops at one of the busiest intersections in the Naples area. Since the first Tacos & Tequila started in August 2013 in East Naples, additional locations of T&T launched in July 2016 in North Naples and in May 2018 at University Village near Florida Gulf Coast University. Last year, T&T founders Kelly and Aldo Musico teamed up with the Hoffmann Family Of Companies and renowned restaurateur Paul Fleming to continue growing the restaurant concept.
KILWINS OPENS SWEET SHOP AT MERCATO IN NORTH NAPLES
Kilwins chocolate, fudge and ice cream shop opened Nov. 10 at Mercato in North Naples. The fourth area location for the confectionary chain shares the former Second Cup coffee shop building with Narrative Coffee Roasters. The store has an old-fashioned feel with aromas from candies and confections made in the store. Granny Smith apples are hand-dipped in caramel cooked in traditional copper kettles, which also create caramel corn, chewy caramels and nut brittles. Kilwins, which has about 125 locations in the nation, includes longtime stores in downtown Naples, Gulf Coast Town Center and Fort Myers Beach. Kilwins, 9106 Strada Place, Suite 4100, is open 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information call 239-260-5161 or go to kilwins.com.
LEE HEALTH, CLEVELAND CLINIC ANNOUNCE AGREEMENT TO ENHANCE HEALTHCARE IN SWFL
Lee Health and Cleveland Clinic announced they will enter into an agreement to share best practices that will optimize patient-centered care for residents of Southwest Florida. Cleveland Clinic and Lee Health have established a strategic alliance to enhance and improve care in Southwest Florida. Collectively, the two organizations will explore opportunities for service line affiliations and strategic initiatives that can improve the quality and efficiency of care through clinical and operational enhancements. As the two organizations move forward, they will lay the groundwork for potential further areas of collaboration in the future. Cleveland Clinic is consistently recognized internationally for its quality of care. Lee Health is one of the largest not-for-profit public health systems in the U.S. For more information, visit LeeHealth.org.
COLLIER COUNTY WANTS COMMUNITY HELP TO NAME ITS NEWEST PRESERVE
Collier County wants the public’s help to name its newest preserve. Collier commissioners voted this year to acquire 37 acres of sensitive environmental land in the county through Conservation Collier to create the county program’s 21st nature preserve, adjacent to Wing South Airpark near Rattlesnake Hammock Road and Santa Barbara Boulevard. The Conservation’s staff is hoping community wordsmiths will submit their ideas for the official name of the preserve in East Naples. Submissions will be accepted for this survey until Monday, Nov. 23. A list of the top name options will be posted in a public poll for voting via the Conservation Collier Facebook page beginning Nov. 25 for the community to vote on its favorite name. Visit the county website to submit a name idea.
COLLIER CAPITAL CLUB DEBUTS IN NAPLES
Two Naples residents and long-time entrepreneurs, Thomas O’Riordan and Shayne Faerber, announced the opening of their latest venture, Collier Capital Club. With a previous co-working space no longer suiting their needs, and after looking for possible individual office space, the duo decided to create their own membership-driven shared workspace combining multiple suites at Wilson Professional Center in Naples, across from Grey Oaks Country Club. Collier Capital Club currently has seven private offices and 22 dedicated desks available, along with mixed co-working seating options. A soon-to-be-opened lounge and game room will offer additional co-working space. Collier Capital Club is designed to fulfill the needs of its members, whether it’s a one-member startup or larger office looking to downsize and rotate employees in a private office from days working out of their homes. O’Riordan has founded and built a variety of companies in various trade sectors over the past 12 years. Faerber also has an extensive background in startups and has run operations for several companies. For more information, click here.
TENURED TENANTS CONTINUE TO ATTRACT, PROTECT INDUSTRIAL ASSETS
Southwest Florida industrial buildings remain pandemic-resilient and fundamentally insulated from economic pressures, according to LandQwest Commercial. With demand high and inventory nearly non-existent, the newly renovated ‘Trade Center Industrial Park’ at 6203 Janes Lane in Naples immediately secured a 7,200-square-foot user, Municipal Supply and Sign Co. downsized to a more efficient footprint that offered an office/warehouse spatial mix to maximize operations. The nearly turnkey relocation included interior/exterior paint, resurfaced parking, and Garmat spray booth. LandQwest Senior Broker Associate, Eric Edwards represented the landlord, FMG Enterprises of Naples LLC.
MEETINGS & EVENTS
Free COVID-19 rapid testing offered at PANIRA Healthcare Clinic
PANIRA Healthcare is offering the community assistance with a free rapid testing event before the Thanksgiving holiday weekend begins. Free rapid COVID-19 testing will be available for the first 50 uninsured patients on from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 25 at PANIRA Healthcare Clinic. Insurance will also be accepted from those who have it. Walk-in patients are welcome. The clinic continues to offer free testing daily to anyone who makes the request; for those tests, patients will have results in two to three days. PANIRA also offers affordable rapid COVID-19 testing daily with results in 15 to 30 minutes. Both the molecular rapid test and antibody testing are being made possible with the support of a Collier Cares Grant. Appointments may be made by calling 239-529-5580. Walk-ins are welcome.
Bank offering hybrid seminars in December
Charlotte State Bank & Trust Vice President Christine Hause and Portfolio Manager Gregory Thomas have adapted to the COVID-19 climate by offering a series of free educational sessions as live seminars and online webinars. Attendees may participate in person at the bank’s Murdock branch office, 1100 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, or online via the Charlotte State Bank & Trust website. In-person capacity is limited to allow for social distancing. Masks are mandatory. Advance registration is required for the seminars or webinars, which last from 10-11:30 a.m. December sessions take place between Dec. 1, starting with “Financial Decision-Making,” and Dec. 17, ending with “Estate Planning and Your Pets.” Registration is available at any branch office, online at charlottestatebank.com, via email at email@example.com, or by calling Brielle at 941-624-1943.
Pulte Homes to introduce Sapphire Point community during Facebook Live
Pulte Homes will host a Facebook Live event at noon on Dec. 12 introducing Sapphire Point, a new community of 472 single-family homes starting from the upper $200,000s in Lakewood Ranch. Viewers can access the event at Pulte.Live/SapphirePoint. Located off State Road 70 on Uihlein Road, across from Lakewood National and just past The Premier Sports Campus, Sapphire Point combines Pulte’s signature home design features across 14 floor plans, surrounded by more than 60 acres of natural preserve and 35 acres of lakes. During the Facebook Live event, viewers can join the Sapphire Point sales team on an exclusive tour of the community from Pulte Homes. The team will also unveil the community site plan, introduce early bird pricing and tour a trio of professionally decorated model homes.
Chamber celebrates opening of Nature Store2
The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce on Nov. 20 celebrated the opening of Nature Store2 by member “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) with a ribbon-cutting at the new location at 2250 Periwinkle Way on Sanibel Island. The store will serve as a fulfillment center for ShopDingDarling.com, plus support the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge with a new shopping experience while the Visitor & Education Center is closed by government mandate, and also once the center reopens. Nature Store2, open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will carry much of the same popular nature-inspired clothing, jewelry, and gifts as the original flagship store at the refuge, but with more emphasis on art.
IN THE KNOW
Crave Culinaire promotes Sorenson
Southwest Florida caterer Crave Culinaire has promoted Chef Sam Sorenson to executive sous chef. Sorenson began cooking at the age of 21 after an apprenticeship as a tattoo artist. He previously created cuisine in New York City-based restaurant Buddakan. Crave Culinaire specializes in in-home dining, private and public events, cooking classes, customized catering, food and wine pairings, and more. Crave Culinaire works hand-in-hand with its sister company, Virtual Venue Naples, to create events for charity organizations, businesses, and individuals.
Hogfish Harry’s expands team
Hogfish Harry’s Chef Everett Fromm has officially been promoted to culinary director. In his new role, Fromm will oversee Hogfish Harry’s as well as Island Gypsy at Isles of Capri. Everett holds a degree in culinary arts from J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College and has more than 25 years in the culinary industry working in both Richmond, Virginia and Naples. The new executive chef at Hogfish Harry’s, Chris Berube, will report to Everett. Berube was the executive chef at Veranda E prior to joining the Hogfish Harry’s team. Leslie DeVito, the new general manager at Hogfish Harry’s, will report to the owner, Jerry Alajajian. DeVito began her culinary career in Pennsylvania before moving to Naples in 2006.
D.R. Horton’s Lindsford more than 80% sold out
D.R. Horton Southwest Florida is selling in the final phase at Lindsford, a gated community located in the heart of Fort Myers. More than 80% sold out, Lindsford offers an array of single-family homes and twin villas, along with amenities. Homebuyers in Lindsford can choose from a selection of home designs featuring two to five bedrooms and 1,526 to more than 3,100 square feet of living space, with pricing starting in the mid-$200,000s. Three professionally decorated model homes are open daily.
Artis—Naples announces $1 million matching gift
Artis—Naples announced that an anonymous board member and his wife have pledged a special matching gift of $1 million to inspire increased support during this season impacted by COVID-19. This new gift will match all donations received in a two-to-one match up to $1 million. “We were delighted to be able to resume programming this fall, including performances by musicians of the Naples Philharmonic, the 12th Annual Naples International Film Festival and a stellar slate of exhibitions in The Baker Museum, and a matching gift such as this provides resources for these activities,” CEO and President Kathleen van Bergen said. For more information, visit artisnaples.org.
Video courtesy of WINK News
St. Matthew’s House feeds thousands at annual ‘Turkey Drop’
The line for a Thanksgiving food giveaway Thursday was so long that organizers opened an hour early. St. Matthew’s House in Naples hosted its annual “Turkey Drop,” and cars started lining up at 6:30 a.m. for the 10 a.m. event at First Baptist Church of Naples,WINK News reports. St. Matthew’s House set an all-time record Thursday, handing out food to 1,774 families. They fed 902 families in 2019. Some of those at the event waited hours while 100 volunteers passed out the thousands of meals. For more places to get free food for Thanksgiving, click here. Additionally, St. Matthew’s House will be partnering with New Hope Ministries in Naples to donate cooked turkeys and sides on Thanksgiving day to feed Youth Haven’s children, teens and staff. Youth Haven’s teens have offered to assist with the turkey preparations as a token of appreciation. Youth Haven also received a $500 donation from Trinity-by-the-Cove Episcopal Church in Naples to be used for food purchases throughout Thanksgiving weekend.
Storm Smart donates $25,000 to Soup Kitchen
Storm Smart has launched its holiday-season philanthropy with a $25,000 donation to Community Cooperative, on behalf of the “Full Plates Project.” This ensures that no family in Southwest Florida will go hungry this Thanksgiving. Now, Executive Chairman Brian Rist and his team will also help the nonprofit bag meals for food pantry distribution. Storm Smart will package meals from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, and from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday at Community Cooperative’s facilities in Fort Myers.
Hodges donates 675 pounds of food to Bonita Springs Assistance Office
For the second year, Hodges University faculty and staff created eight Thanksgiving displays on the Fort Myers campus. From fall festivals and music videos to a turkey dance club, the displays were made of perishable and non-perishable food items for a Thanksgiving dinner. As a result, 675 pounds of perishable and non-perishable food items were delivered to the Bonita Springs Assistance Office for its food pantry. Last year, Hodges University delivered 665 pounds of food. Display participant teams included human resources, admissions, registrar/library/student experience, marketing, psychology, IT, English as a second language, and Johnson School of Business.
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