Gulfshore Business Daily: November 24

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Photo by Eunice Lui from Pexels


Video courtesy of WINK News


Many people are deciding whether to travel for Thanksgiving or stay put. Along Fifth Avenue South in downtown Naples, restaurants aren’t seeing as many reservations as they would normally get on Thanksgiving week, WINK News reports. With more people deciding to skip traveling, restaurants are noticing the trend. “We see the traffic is here, but inside the restaurants, we aren’t quite seeing the business coming back as we have in previous years before,” says Jeremy Caprari of HobNob Kitchen + Bar in downtown Naples. Caprari is hopeful things will pick up soon. “We’re getting calls for New Year’s and December,” he says. “It looks great at this time. We’re hoping it will start moving forward to stay open.” For restaurants open for Thanksgiving this week in Southwest Florida, click here

Video courtesy of WINK News


Southwest Florida will soon have a treatment to help possibly curb the time COVID-19 patients are staying at hospitals. Local health systems started receiving a new antibody treatment Monday to help reduce hospital stays for those with COVID19. The treatment is for high-risk people who are in the early stages of COVID-19 with mild to moderate symptoms, WINK News reports. Hospitals will receive more doses on a weekly basis. Doctors say it’s most effective during the first 10 days of the infection. Lee Health, NCH and Fawcett Memorial Hospital all have the treatment, which is administered via an IV. Gov. Ron DeSantis said 3,000 doses went out to Florida hospitals in the first batch. 


Demolition work continues on The Plaza on Third Street, a decades-old shopping center that had been mostly vacant for many years in downtown Naples. Honc Destruction has been working this month leveling the old plaza’s buildings between the Sea Salt restaurant on Third Street South and the Olde Naples Building on the corner of Broad Avenue and Third. Old Naples Hotel, a boutique hotel with more than 100 rooms and some ground-floor retail, still is planned for that space. “We continue to make significant progress but, due to complications arising out of COVID-19, do not expect to begin construction as soon as demolition is complete,” according to a statement on “In the meantime, the 2-plus acres of land will be sodded as green space and fenced for safety. We look forward to making an announcement about the commencement of construction in the near future.”


A trend seemingly emerges as Dollar Tree stores backfill Pier 1 spaces across the nation. Such is the case at 17901 Summerlin Road in Fort Myers, where the 18,065-square-foot retail center once anchored by Pier 1 Imports will place Dollar Tree in the 10,800-square-foot end unit by year-end. “This follows the trend of numerous mid-box retailers struggling in a challenging retail environment that was significantly compounded by COVID-19,” says LandQwest Senior Associate Bob Pekol. “Dollar stores and other value-retailers were far less affected by internet competition and economic downturns.” Pier 1 permanently closed its doors in September. The newly available, well-located spaces are now sought after by the next generation of junior anchor tenants, particularly in retail-booming regions. The Summerlin Dollar Tree adds to an already expanding intersection at Pine Ridge Road, where a newly constructed ALDI and developing ABC Liquor, Heartland Dental and more are coming soon. Pekol continues to represent the landlord, BR of Wisconsin 43 LLC. Paige Eber of Katz & Associates represented Dollar Tree. 


During October, 417,305 passengers traveled through Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers. This is a decrease of 34.7% compared to October 2019; however, it is a 63.1% increase compared to September 2020. The traffic leader in October was American Airlines with 91,020 total passengers. Rounding out the top five airlines were Southwest (84,225), Delta (68,830), United (50,131) and JetBlue (44,011). In October, 3,516,841 pounds of air freight were carried through the airport, which was a record-breaking number for that month. Air freight for the year is currently up 1.4%. Southwest Florida International Airport had 5,384 aircraft operations, a decrease of 1.2% compared to October 2019. Page Field saw 12,391 operations, a 15.9% increase compared to October 2019.


Pazzo! Cucina Italiana


Pazzo! Cucina Italiana is showing off its $1 million remodel during its 25th anniversary this month on Fifth Avenue South in downtown Naples. The new Pazzo décor features a thoroughly unique and creative interpretation of Old World Italian style, according to Skip Quillen, founder and owner of the Culinary Concepts’ Restaurants group that includes Pazzo, Chops City Grill and Yabba Island Grill in Naples, Chops City Grill in Bonita Springs and The Saloon in Estero. The goal was to create a classic timeless elegance with an eclectic mix of warmth, color, depth and texture at Pazzo, which means crazy in Italian. Pazzo, 853 Fifth Ave. S., is open for dinner from 5-9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For reservations, call 239-434-8494 or visit



Virtual drawing for Farm City BBQ Raffle set for Wednesday 

While not meeting in person this week for the annual Farm City BBQ, participants can still kick-off the holidays with the Farm City BBQ Raffle. For $10, purchase a chance to win one of more than 20 prize packages ranging in value from $100 to $2,500. Join organizers at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25. You’ll get a Zoom link to join the raffle drawing after you purchase at least one ticket. All prizes are 100% donated with proceeds from the raffle benefiting future local leaders through Collier County 4-H, Youth Leadership Collier, Collier County Junior Deputies and Kiwanis Key Clubs. To buy raffle tickets for the online auction, click here.

Law firm to address ‘multifamily uncertainties during COVID-19’ on Dec. 2

Becker law firm, which has offices in Southwest Florida, will host the webinar “Multifamily uncertainties during COVID-19” from 2-3 p.m. on Dec. 2. Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker Steven Druth of Marcus & Millichap will moderate the event, and panelists Adam Cervera and Philip C. Rosen, both shareholders at Becker, will discuss current and potential issues, provide guidance to navigate these challenges, and explain what the immediate and necessary next steps should be. For more information, click here.

Lee County MPO’s citizen advisory meeting to be held Dec. 3

The next Citizen Advisory Committee meeting will be held at 3 p.m. on Dec. 3. Agenda topics for the meeting include approval of the 2045 Long Range Transportation Plan Summary Report. For additional information, visit

REIS luncheon to discuss FGCU construction management program

The growth of the construction management program at Florida Gulf Coast University and its role in the region’s development industry will be presented at the Real Estate Investment Society’s (REIS) luncheon meeting held at 11:45 a.m. on Dec. 8 in the Osprey Room at Pelican Preserve’s Clubhouse in Fort Myers. Dr. Craig Capano, founding chair/professor with Florida Gulf Coast University’s (FGCU) Construction Management Department, will explain the program and its relationship with Southwest Florida’s real estate development industry. Admission is $30 for members and $40 for guests, which includes lunch. Reservations are required by Dec. 3 and may be made at The program will also be provided as a live webcast at 12:10 p.m. that day at no charge. Access information is on the REIS website.

Ave Maria Farmers Market

Ave Maria Town Center hosts farmers market every Saturday 

Ave Maria Town Center will host weekly farmers markets from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday from November through May. These outdoor markets in conjunction with SW Florida Markets LLC are open to the public and feature more than 20 vendors which offer locally grown produce and citrus, fresh seafood, Italian breads, pastries, local honey, soaps, candles, oils, crafts, flowers, jewelry, accessories, clothing and more. Ave Maria has a walkable town center with more than 30 merchants including shops, restaurants and services. The public can also enjoy free events throughout the year that includes outdoor live music, trolley tours, arts and crafts festivals and signature events. For more information about events, visit the calendar online at



Clive Daniel Home welcomes director of real estate relations

Clive Daniel Home (CDH) welcomes the return of Fern Schmidt as director of real estate relations for its Naples showroom. A 24-year real estate industry veteran with 14 years in Collier County, Schmidt leads the company’s Realtor Benefit Program and Stage Right Staging, assisting realtors who have a high-end listing with CDH staging services. Fern was assistant manager of real estate relations at Clive Daniel’s Naples location for five years before heading to Norris Furniture as director of business development for four showrooms. In her current role, she works with the director of business development to foster relationships with area builders, hospitality properties and commercial businesses that will benefit from design renovations and improvements. She also works with the Collier Building Industry Association (CBIA), the Naples Area Board of Realtors and the Women’s Council of Realtors. 

Mueller elected to Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce board of trustees

Toni Mueller, a member of Sanibel Captiva Community Bank’s deposit operations team, has been elected to the Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce board of trustees. Mueller joined the bank’s deposit operations team in 2015. Her primary responsibilities are assisting in the management process of daily deposit activities, verifying and validating transactions, and issuing corrections, including exception items and wire transfers. She is an active member of the Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce, serving as volunteer coordinator for Red, White and Boom and the Holiday Festival of Lights. Mueller is also a 2006 graduate of the Leadership Cape Coral program. 



Midwest Food Bank sets goal of 200,000 meals for Giving Tuesday

Midwest Food Bank is focusing Giving Tuesday donations on Tender Mercies rice and beans meals. The goal is to provide 200,000 Tender Mercies meals to MFB’s partnering nonprofit agencies. Giving Tuesday 2020 falls on Dec. 1. Tender Mercies meals have been a vital part of the MFB COVID-19 and disaster relief efforts, as 3.49 million meals have been packaged in 2020, up from 1.45 million meals last year. They are produced and packaged at the Morton, Illinois, division of Midwest Food Bank.  Visit for more information and to donate online. Midwest Food Bank is also accepting Giving Tuesday donations by mail.
Don’t be the last to know what’s happening in Southwest Florida. Sign up for our free daily newsletter, Gulfshore Business Daily, to stay connected.


You May Also Like

Post-high school education on the rise

Little by little, Southwest Florida’s workforce is getting more skilled. The FutureMakers Coalition is an initiative by local leaders to raise the overall education level...

The Economy, the Pandemic and FGCU

The last 18 months have been an economic roller coaster for Southwest Florida. One would be hard-pressed to find any economist or soothsayer who predicted...