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Gulfshore Business Daily: Oct. 7

Lead Photo: Sanibel Captiva Community Bank has relocated its Periwinkle Way office. Details below.

 

NEPTUNE RESORT ON FORT MYERS BEACH SELLS FOR $27 MILLION
The Neptune Resort, a staple of the Fort Myers Beach vacation scene for more than 40 years, has changed hands. Springboard Hospitality, which owns 38 independent and branded properties across the United States, paid $27 million for the Neptune Resort. The company announced the transaction Wednesday. “We are excited to welcome the Neptune Resort to Springboard Hospitality,” CEO Ben Rafter said in a news release. “This news continues an exciting portfolio expansion in 2021 where we have strategically increased our presence in Florida and beach destinations, while continuing to leverage our expertise in managing independent hotels.” The Neptune Resort is at 2310 Estero Blvd. It has 71 suites and two heated pools. In-season rates start at $250. This is a business-as-usual transaction, said Laura Notaro, of The Point PR agency. The acquisition takes place with construction on the nearby Margaritaville Resort set to begin. 

 

CHOPS CITY GRILL IN BONITA REOPENS FRIDAY AFTER $1M MAKEOVER 
Shuttered for four months during a $1 million renovation project, Chops City Grill in Bonita Springs reopens Friday with a refreshed look and a new menu. The interior of the local steakhouse, including its flooring, ceiling, walls, booths, tables, chairs and lighting, were redesigned, said Skip Quillen, founder and owner of Culinary Concepts, a restaurant group that includes three restaurants on Fifth Avenue South in Naples and The Saloon at nearby Coconut Point in Estero. Quillen describes the recent renovations as sophisticated and luxurious with dark brown woodwork, muted deep purple walls with silver accents and crushed black velvet banquettes and private booth draperies. Three new large Italian crystal chandeliers now illuminate the 20-foot antique bar. Chops, which originally opened on Christmas Eve 2001, will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year.  

LEE COUNTY MAY EXPAND LOCATIONS WHERE FOOD TRUCKS CAN OPERATE
Lee County commissioners voted Tuesday to authorize staff to begin committee review of draft amendments to the land development code to establish countywide food truck regulations. The proposed amendments would expand the locations where mobile food vendors are allowed to operate in unincorporated Lee County, which includes Alva, Buckingham, Captiva, Lehigh Acres, North Fort Myers, Pine Island, San Carlos Park and parts of south Fort Myers and south Lee. The draft regulations include safety measures, nuisance prevention and aesthetic considerations. Before final consideration is made by Lee County commissioners, two public hearings will be scheduled. 

UNEMPLOYED FLORIDIANS CONTINUE TO FIGHT FOR FEDERAL UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT 
A group of unemployed Floridians is fighting to bring back the $300 a week in federal unemployment benefits. A Leon County court ruled against reinstating the benefits in August, but the group plans to appeal that decision, arguing that the pandemic isn’t over and people are still unemployed so the extra $300 from the federal government would be helpful. Advocates filed the initial lawsuit in June as the state dropped the benefit but the federal government didn’t set the benefit’s expiration date until Sept. 6. The appeal will be filed soon, WINK News reports

 

Video courtesy of WINK News
LEE COUNTY HOLDS FIRST PUBLIC REDISTRICTING HEARING 
The NAACP is pushing for a majority-minority district containing Dunbar and Lehigh Acres during the decennial redrawing of Lee County Commission districts with the new population figures form the 2020 census. Community members attending Lee County’s first redistricting hearing want a transparent process, the county to abolish an at-large voting system for commissioners, and to redraw the proposed redistricting maps, WINK News reports. Several more redistricting public hearings are planned at the Old Lee County Courthouse, 2120 Main St., Fort Myers. For the additional meeting dates and times, click here

 

JONES LOOP ROAD PROPERTY IN PUNTA GORDA SELLS
The one-mile stretch of vacant, wooded lands along Jones Loop Road between U.S. 41 and the Tucker’s Grade exit at I-75 is set to boom. The first confirmed project will be apartments. Parkside Punta Gorda LLC purchased 22.8 acres at 26020 Jones Loop Road in Punta Gorda from Jones Loop Road LLC for $2.7 million. There are 297 units being planned with groundbreaking slated for 2022. The lot is just off U.S. 41.“This development is going to further solidify the Jones Loop corridor and bring much-needed rental housing to the Punta Gorda market,” said Michael Price, who brokered the deal for both buyer and seller for LandQwest Commercial. “We are excited to be a part of the continued growth in this corridor,” Price said.

 

SANIBEL CAPTIVA COMMUNITY BANK PURCHASES BUILDING TO RELOCATE BRANCH
Sanibel Captiva Community Bank has acquired the building at 1019 Periwinkle Way on Sanibel. Located two buildings down from its current branch at 1037 Periwinkle Way, the branch will be relocated after renovations are completed at the end of 2022. The bank has hired Benchmark Construction to renovate the bank’s new branch, which will feature a community room, electric car charging station and safe deposit boxes. Current occupant John R. Wood Properties will continue leasing approximately half of the 5,200-square-foot building. The current branch at 1037 Periwinkle Way will remain open for service during renovations. 

 

KC Schulberg

SCHULBERG NAMED COLLIER COUNTY WATERKEEPER
The Collier County Waterkeeper organization has named K.C. Schulberg the Collier County Waterkeeper. Schulberg served for three years as executive director of Lee County clean water nonprofit Calusa Waterkeeper. During his term at Calusa Waterkeeper, he helped steer the organization to expansion. Schulberg produced and directed three award-winning documentaries for Calusa Waterkeeper: Troubled WatersEternal Vigilance and Waterborne. Schulberg has worked on more than 200 television movies, miniseries and feature films and served as executive vice president at Hallmark Entertainment. Earlier this year, he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Fort Myers Film Festival for his career in filmmaking. Schulberg fills the role previously held by Harrison Langley, the founding Collier County Waterkeeper. Langley will continue to serve the organization as its executive director.

 

BONITA SPRINGS-BASED RMC GROUP HIRES MIDDLETON
Bonita Springs-based RMC Group has hired Tamara M. Middleton as vice president of pensions. She will also contribute to RMC’s captive, property and casualty and health divisions. In her new role, Middleton will be responsible for the development, marketing and sale of all qualified retirement plan products and services offered by RMC. Middleton brings more than 35 years of experience as a plan designer, plan administrator, operations manager, system designer and collaborator and business owner to RMC. She is an Enrolled Retirement Plan Agent with the Internal Revenue Service and credentialled member of the American Society of Pension Professional and Actuaries. She also holds credentials such as Certified Pension Consultant, Qualified Pension Administrator and a Qualified 401(k) Administrator. Middleton attended Saint Mary College in Leavenworth, Kansas, where she studied business.

 

Michael Cassin

CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD PROMOTES CASSIN TO PROPERTY MANAGER
Cushman & Wakefield | Commercial Property Southwest Florida (CPSWFL) has promoted Michael Cassin to property manager. In his new role, Cassin’s responsibilities will include property inspections and reporting, vendor management, budgeting assistance and CAM reconciliation assistance. Cassin is a 13-year employee at CPSWFL and started with the company as a part-time filing clerk while still in high school. Over the years, he has grown with CPSWFL, most recently holding the positions of accounting assistant and property management coordinator. During his tenure at CPSWFL, Cassin has developed expertise in building management operations, lease administration and accounting processes. 

 

DEANGELIS DIAMOND WELCOMES CANTRELL TO TEAM
Construction management firm DeAngelis Diamond has welcomed Ricky Cantrell as safety manager. In his new role, Cantrell will join safety team members Sean Dyer and Kevin Smith to ensure company safety policies are enforced and help onsite DeAngelis Diamond team members to think proactively to prevent accidents. DeAngelis Diamond recently promoted Dyer to senior safety and health manager. In his new role, Dyer will lead Cantrell, Smith and the rest of the team by coordinating weekly safety meetings and ensuring safety policies are enforced on all DeAngelis Diamond projects.

 

Kevin Thibodeau

GATES CONSTRUCTION PROMOTES THIBODEAU TO CHIEF ESTIMATOR
Gates Construction has promoted Kevin E. Thibodeau from senior estimator to chief estimator. Thibodeau is responsible for overseeing the estimating department, which provides comprehensive estimates, pre-construction services, and develops subcontractor relationships. As chief estimator, he collaborates with executive staff, design teams, and owner representatives during pre-construction. Thibodeau has more than 35 years of construction experience. In 2017, he moved from his home state of Rhode Island to join Gates Construction at its Bonita Springs headquarters.

 

CHARITABLE NOTES 
 

CCMS Physician Wellness Program receives $20,000 contribution
This fall and for the fourth year, the Southwest Florida Physicians Association (SWFPA) contributed $20,000 to support the Collier County Medical Society (CCMS) Physician Wellness Program. The contributions help the program sustain the health and wellbeing of community physicians. The Physician Wellness Program features confidential, convenient, cost-free access to professional psychological services for all Medical Society physician members. Since the program’s inception in February 2017 through August 2021, CCMS has provided physicians with more than 400 psychological sessions. During the COVID-19 pandemic, CCMS has also extended these services to physicians in the county who are not currently members.
 

Publix raises $100,000 for Tools for School campaign
Publix customers and associates raised $100,000 for the Tools for School campaign. The funds were raised to give back to the students and teachers of Lee County and provide children with the tools needed to be successful this school year. United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee is sharing $500 worth of Publix gift cards with each school in the School District of Lee County. Additional community programs and services will also be supported through this initiative.

 

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