Naples seeks community input to reimagine city’s Design District

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This week is packed with activities, meetings and presentations in downtown Naples in a concerted, community-wide effort to reimagine the city’s 41-10 Design District, which has evolved organically from industrial to mixed-use and retail. Now the city, wanting a clear vision and direction for the district’s future, plans a public charrette to gather public input.  

The city and its Community Redevelopment Agency have hired Miami-based DPZ CoDesign to host a charrette, an intensive planning session where citizens, officials, designers and other stakeholders collaborate on a vision for local development. DPZ is an architectural and urban design firm co-founded in 1980 by Andrés Duany, the Miami architect who was hired by the city in 1993 to lead an effort to urbanize and create a new master plan vision for Fifth Avenue South. Now, the focus is on the city’s adjacent 41-10 Design District. Originally named for the area between Ninth Street (U.S. 41) and 10th Street in the city, the 41-10 Design District has been expanded east-west from U.S. 41 to Goodlette-Frank Road and north-south from Seventh Avenue North to Fifth Avenue South or U.S. 41 East.  

CRA and City Council encourages all Naples residents, district business and property owners to invest 5 minutes to register at speakupnaples.com and share ideas on what should happen in the Design District. Then, they are invited for in-person meetings and presentations tonight and through this weekend at The Collective with a closing presentation Tuesday, Nov. 16, at River Park Community Center.  

The charrette’s opening presentation by DPZ CoDesign is 6 to 7:30 p.m. tonight at The Collective, 111 10th St., one of the newest developments in the Design District. Here is a day-by-day look at this week’s schedule.  

  • Wednesday, Nov. 10: A meeting for business owners, retailers and restaurateurs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Includes a presentation of the 41-10 District’s retail market analysis by Bob Gibbs of Gibbs Planning Group with follow-up discussion led by DPZ.  
  • Thursday, Nov. 11:  A meeting for property owners from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with DPZ-led discussion followed by a presentation by Gibbs entitled, “New Trends in the Post-Covid Economy.”  
  • Friday, Nov. 12: A meeting for infrastructure, transportation and storm water management from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with Langan Engineering.  
  • Saturday, Nov. 13: An open house for residents, especially families and children from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., where kids are invited to draw their vision.  

Each night of the charrette this week also has a daily pin-up design session facilitated by DPZ from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at The Collective.  

The Design District includes the new developments of Naples Square, Eleven Eleven Central, the future Gulfshore Playhouse and The Collective, where the charrette takes place. That area also includes River Park, the Neighborhood Health Clinic, Bellasera Resort and many restaurants, businesses and residences.

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