Gulfshore Business Daily: Sept. 3

Photo Credit: Courtesy Seagate Development Group


Arbor Towne Square, at the corner of Treeline Avenue and Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers, sold for $5.1 million. In 2017, Seagate Development Group’s affiliate purchased the shopping center for $2.6 million, property records show. The 30,000-square-foot center has a Goodwill, Allstate, Domino’s Pizza, Walgreen’s and Pinch-A-Penny. Trinity Commercial Group’s Tim Schneider brokered the deal on behalf of the seller, while his colleague, Matthew Fredrickson, represented the buyer, Arbor Lin LLC. “This center was a great opportunity for redevelopment when we purchased it,” said Matt Price, CEO & Partner at Seagate Development Group. “Arbor Towne Square has direct access to I-75 and is in a prime location. Thousands of people pass this site every day and rely on tenants’ services. We are more than pleased with the product and look forward to the continued success of the project.” 


Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau provides population counts, and Collier County uses this data to redraw district boundaries for the five-county commissioners. One commissioner is elected by residents within each district. Redistricting modifies the boundaries to achieve population equity among the five districts. County staff will analyze the recent population data and create a minimum of three proposals for new district maps. A series of public workshops will be held in November for public review and comment on the alternative district maps to establish new county commission district boundaries. Following public review and comment, county commissioners will consider and adopt final updated district boundaries in December.  


Entrada rendering

At least three restaurants and many more businesses are still coming to the new Entrada, a commercial redevelopment project that nears completion on the northeast corner of Old 41 and Bonita Beach Road in Bonita Springs. Entrada’s tenants include Braxton College for first responders and Access Holistic Healing & Hypnosis on the second floor. Aloe Salon and Spa and Main Course Hospitality marketing agency opened on the first floor. Planning to launch there this month are Studio PLPV architectural firm, Balance Medispa, Cleansing Essentials skin-care shop and two local restaurants –The Bohemian and Napoli on the Bay Pizzeria. A couple of units, including a larger restaurant space, are still available, said developer Steve Hovland of Hovland Real Estate.


The FGCU Department of Athletics has announced it will begin selling beer and wine at home events on the campus of Florida Gulf Coast University. The sales will be limited to two beverages per person with a valid ID required, according to a news release. The sales will be stopped toward the end of the event. The items will be available at future events at Alico Arena, Swanson Stadium, the FGCU Soccer Complex and the Softball Complex. Fans over the age of 21 can purchase imported and domestic beers as well as white and red wines. Ken Kavanagh, director of athletics, said other Florida institutions have successfully sold alcohol at their events for more than a decade, WINK News reports.


Amazon, which continues to grow its reach in Southwest Florida, is doing a free virtual event for job seekers Sept. 15. Job hunters can register online. The company, with more than a million employees, will have more than 20,000 job coaching sessions. “We’re now the second-largest employer in the United States,” said Ardine Williams, Amazon’s vice president of workforce development. “They’re good jobs. They pay a starting wage of $15 an hour. They offer wellness benefits from day one. The same benefits I get, they get. Medical, dental, everything. The same benefits are available for all of our associates.” Williams cited a statistic that 65% of all Americans are considering a job or career change. “We think it’s a very interesting time for job seekers,” Williams said. “That’s why we’re excited about this.” The job coaching sessions are available, whether the job seekers are interested in working for Amazon or not. “We’re helping people prepare,” Williams said. “It helps raise the standard of living. It raises the tax base. It’s the right thing to do. It’s a good thing to do.” 


Firmo Construction, based in Sarasota, is establishing a foothold in Fort Myers. The company is building two hotels in downtown Fort Myers and has set up an office downtown as well to oversee operations. The Hampton Inn, a four-story, 126-room hotel being built from scratch where U.S. 41 and McGregor Boulevard intersect, will be finished late spring/early summer of next year. Firmo hit the pause button on construction over the summer because of some last-minute, internal design changes. But activity on the site has resumed. Firmo is also renovating the Hotel Indigo, which will be rebranded to Tapestry Collection, a boutique brand from Hilton. The eight-story building at 1520 Broadway Ave. will undergo a floor-by-floor renovation, starting from the top on down. “We’re keeping the lobby and the common area for the end,” said Eric Collin, CEO of Firmo since founding it in 2003. “Work is underway already. We’re doing cosmetic work, finishes, flooring, signage and painting. And new furniture.” 


The Uncommon Friends Foundation has partnered with Michael and Karen Gavala of G3 Catering, who will now oversee and manage event operations, event bookings, catering and bar services for the Burroughs Home and Gardens, a historic riverfront property at 2505 First Street in downtown Fort Myers. With 40-plus years of catering and hospitality experience, the Gavalas plan to expand the home’s current offerings to include more galas, fundraisers, musical and art events, interactive live cooking dinners, wine dinners and a host of other themed, special events throughout the year. The Uncommon Friends Foundation’s purpose is to inspire future leaders toward excellence of character, a spirit of innovation and a sense of purpose.  


Leadership Collier Class of 2022

The Leadership Collier Foundation of the Greater Naples Chamber has selected the Leadership Collier Class of 2022. The class will begin its program with a kick-off celebration at 5-6:30 p.m. on Sept. 16 at Gulfshore Playhouse at The Norris Center. The primary objective of Leadership Collier is to educate local business leaders about the societal and economic challenges facing the community today. The nine-month program includes 10 full-day sessions. Over the course of 10 sessions, participants will explore local government, education, economic development, agriculture, arts and more. The Leadership Collier 2022 class members include chair Mary Beth Geier, first vice chair Todd Lyon, second vice chair Melissa Blazier, Rebecca Acx, Corey Adamski, Kevin Aspegren, AJ Attavar, Michelle Avola-Brown, Catherine Bergerson, Jay Border, Yvonne Bourk, Alex Breault, Scott Chartier, Patricia Chibende, Marisa Cleveland, Jason Cooper, Paula DiGrigoli, Kerry Edwards, Matthew Fletcher, Chadd Garcia, Zannon Garza, Linda Goldfield, Phyllis Hall, Becky Irwin, Cari Jones, Katie Laakkonen, Kara Laufer, Altony Lee, Justin Lobb, Christopher Lopez, Megan McCarthy Beauvais, Barbara Melvin, Mark Middlebrook, Jennifer Mitchell, John Morton, E.B. Newberry Yarnell, Derya Onaran, Gloria Padilla, Krista Patrick, Julie Pedretti, Leslie Ricciardelli, Holly Salvatore, Hector Sanchez, Mike Sheffield, Kathy Smart, PJ Smith and Robert Sorenson. The Leadership Collier Class of 2022 kick-off event is open to the public. Register to attend here.


Richard Fedorowicz has joined Dovetails and its Auctions Neapolitan subsidiary as a certified appraiser and catalogist, owner Kathleen Pica announces. Fedorowicz spent 42 years in the same role with DuMouchelle Galleries in Detroit before moving to Naples earlier this year. Fedorowicz is a senior member of the American Society of Appraisers and has been certified in fine arts, antiques, decorative arts and residential contents. In addition to conducting appraisals, Fedorowicz will also assist in catalog preparation for the eight-to-10 live online gallery auctions held by Auctions Neapolitan each year. He will also participate in the free-of-charge verbal approximations of value for the individuals who bring in items each day. Fedorowicz earned a bachelor’s degree in art history from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in art history from the University of Michigan. He was the first art historian hired by Eastern Kentucky University to teach art history.



Alan Marshall, Liz McCauley, Patrick Rossi, Tom Ellegood & Kristine Spitz

Mercola Market donates $4,000 to animal shelter
Following its Mid-Cape Summer Fest, Mercola Market & Café donated $4,000 to the Cape Coral Animal Shelter. The all-day inaugural event, which benefitted the local animal shelter, attracted more than 1,000 people to celebrate the end of summer with live music, a vintage car show, food trucks, a corn hole tournament, face painting, a petting zoo, hot air balloon rides and more. The Mercola Market & Café of Cape Coral is a new retail store that exclusively features Dr. Mercola-branded products for health, home, the pantry and pets. In addition, the café offers a selection of biodynamic coffee and espresso beverages, hot and iced teas, and a variety of baked goods from a local bakery, including gluten-free and vegan options. The Market & Café is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.


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