Luminary Hotel Plans to Proceed

Plus: Naples is named a top place to retire, the Naples Beach Hotel will be redeveloped, a new kidney transplant program is announced and more.

Need to catch up on Southwest Florida business news? No problem. Here are the top stories of the week pulled from our daily newsletter, Gulfshore Business Daily.

Friday, Nov. 16


The Luminary Hotel is projected to proceed as planned, with construction of the downtown Fort Myers hotel slated for completion in early 2020. The settlement of a quiet title lawsuit regarding deed restricted land in downtown Fort Myers has been approved in court, allowing the $91 million Luminary Hotel project to move forward.  In the interest of public benefit, the city and the defendants agreed to transfer the deed restriction to a city-owned island in the Caloosahatchee to be developed as the Legacy Island Park, a press release states. The city will reportedly spend at least $500,000 to clear a portion of the property to create a park with picnic benches and other amenities, install security cameras, make improvements to a public access beach area and create an interpretive trail with signage and a monument recognizing the families that conveyed the land. The Luminary Hotel project includes a parking garage, event center and amphitheater, and will bring approximately 250 post-construction jobs and a projected $500 million in economic activity to downtown Fort Myers.​​

Thursday, Nov. 15


Naples has been named number one on the  2018 10 Best Places to Retire list by To determine this year’s best places to retire, Livability’s data scientists first analyzed all U.S. cities with a population between 20,000 and 300,000 and weeded out places with high healthcare costs. Using a wide variety of data sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, Medicare, ESRI, USDA and NOAA, eligible cities were ranked on more than 20 data points. Data points included community engagement, safety, hospital quality rating, affordability, number of residents over 65, activities and recreation, primary care physician rate, air quality, natural disaster risk, climate, property tax rate, and nursing home accessibility and quality. Naples was the only Florida city to make the list, which can be viewed here.​

Wednesday, Nov. 14


The Athens Group, the luxury resort and hotel development company selected by the Watkins family to redevelop The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club, has released its initial plans and rendering for the redevelopment of the property. The Watkins family, third-generation owners of the beachfront Naples resort, will continue operating the hotel and its 18-hole golf course through the 2020-2021 season, when ownership will transition to The Athens Group. The Athens Group has teamed with architectural firm Hart Howerton to create a redevelopment plan. Following receipt of the required approvals and the 2021 ownership change, The Athens Group will commence redevelopment of the property, which at full completion will include a new 220-room hotel; a renovated Sunset Beach Bar & Grill and HB’s on the Gulf; up to 195 beachfront and golf-side condominium residences and hotel services; a further upgrade of the 18-hole championship golf course; enhanced tennis, spa and fitness facilities; updated conference and event spaces; a Market Square; and the redevelopment of Gulf Shore Boulevard through the property into a landscaped corridor, the Gulf Shore Garden, with bike lanes on both sides. The proposed plan will continue to be refined based upon input received from neighbors and other stakeholders during an extensive community outreach program.​ 

Tuesday, Nov. 13


PBS Contractors of Naples received the 2018 Business Ethics Award from the Uncommon Friends Foundation at its annual Uncommon Evening gala, held on Nov. 8 at the Burroughs Home & Gardens in Fort Myers. Russell Budd, CEO and owner of PBS Contractors, represented the company, along with Bart Zino, Kimberly Ortegon and Mark Simmons. Brian Rist, president and CEO of title sponsor Storm Smart, presented the award. Gray Davis, agency executive/senior vice president of McGriff Insurance Services, earned a Lifetime Achievement Award for his years of service to the Uncommon Friends Foundation, including serving seven years as chairman of the board of directors. Board chair Marilyn Stout recognized past board members Brenda Stewart and Jody VanCooney for more than 20 years each of volunteer service to Uncommon Friends Foundation on the scholarships program, public relations, and events committees and more.​

Monday, Nov. 12


Lee Health has been working with Tampa General Hospital to expand the scope of services available to patients. The Tampa General Hospital Advanced Organ Disease and Transplantation Institute at Lee Health will open on Dec. 3 at Gulf Coast Medical Center, currently occupied by Lee Health’s Kidney Transplant Institute. Lee Health’s program will permanently discontinue services on Dec. 2. Patients will immediately have access to a variety of transplant services, including live donor transplants, paired donor transplants, deceased kidney transplants and simultaneous multi-organ transplants, such as kidney and pancreas. Patients who are on the Lee Health transplant waitlist have the option to transfer their wait time to Tampa General Hospital, or any other Medicare-approved transplant center, without loss of accrued waiting time. When a kidney becomes available, patients will travel to Tampa or a transplant center of their choice for their surgery. After a post-surgery recuperation period, they can return to their local nephrologist. Current transplant nephrologists, Dr. Gautham Mogilishetty and Dr. Shalini Saith, will remain at Gulf Coast Medical Center clinic as part of Tampa General’s program to provide pre- and post-operative nephrology care. 

Publicly Traded Companies​


Hertz Global Holdings Inc. reported a third-quarter net income of $141 million, or $1.68 per diluted share, compared with $93 million, or $1.12 per diluted share, during the third quarter of 2017. Net loss for the nine month-period ending Sept. 30 was at $125 million, compared with a net loss of $289 in the same period last year.​


Chico's FAS Inc. (CHS) has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.085 per share of its common stock, a 3 percent increase over the dividend rate from December 2017. The dividend is payable on Dec. 21 to Chico's FAS shareholders of record at the close of business on Dec. 10.

In other news…

It turns out, timing isn't everything when it comes to sales.

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