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Q: I see they are clearing the land on the southeast corner of Desoto and Golden Gate boulevards. Rumor has it there is a fire station going there. Any truth to that? —Jessica A., Golden Gate Estates 

A: Site work started in mid-April on Collier County Fire and EMS Station 74, which is expected to be completed in about a year on the corner of Golden Gate Boulevard East and Desoto Boulevard South in Golden Gate Estates. 

The more than 14,000-square-foot building results from a coordinated design effort between Collier County EMS, North Collier Fire Rescue District, the Greater Naples Fire Rescue District and architect Schenkel Shultz Inc. The shared facility at 99 Desoto Blvd. S. will have five bays for vehicles and apparatus, 12 bunk rooms, seven restrooms, as well as associated day living spaces such as a kitchen, dining room, fitness room, laundry room, offices and a screened lanai. Also included will be fire-rescue department support areas for gear and decontamination. 

In January, county commissioners awarded a nearly $9.5 million contract to Fort Myers-based Rycon Construction, one of six companies that bid on the project. Rycon will build the station on the nearly 5.5-acre corner property with about an acre of that land planned for a dry retention area and preserve buffer along its western and southern boundaries. Because that undeveloped lot is not served by public utilities, a potable well, fire well and septic system will be installed, county records show. 

“Coordination discussions with the two adjacent fire districts have resulted in an agreement in which Collier County will fund and complete the construction of Fire and Rescue Station 74 and Greater Naples Fire and North Collier Fire will commit to developing the next two new stations and include space and design considerations for Collier County EMS to co-locate,” according to an executive summary on the project prepared by principal project manager Tony Barone of the county’s Facilities Management Division. “This approach consolidates the three separate EMS projects into one singular project funded by the surtax program as the other two efforts continue under the fire districts.” 

Station 74 is expected to improve response times in that rural area of the eastern Estates now served by a station more than 7 miles away at 13th Street SW and Golden Gate Boulevard. The new station, which will have single access drives off both boulevards, is expected to cut response times to emergencies from 20 minutes to 10 minutes. 

Recent razing 

Q: Do you know what is going on at Radio and Airport? The old Wells Fargo building is being torn down. —Erica M., East Naples 

A: Plans have been proposed for a 7-Eleven convenience store and gas station on the northeast corner of Airport-Pulling and Radio roads in East Naples. The 35-year-old, two-story office building on that corner across from Naples Airport was recently razed to make way for the redevelopment project. 

The 10,774-square-foot demolished professional building at 125 Airport-Pulling Road N. had office space for banks and many other business tenants over the years. While the site was home to Wells Fargo Bank for about the last decade, it previously was Wachovia Bank, which transitioned to Wells Fargo in 2011 after the banks merged at the end of 2008. When the building was built in 1989, it initially was a branch of First Union National Bank, which switched to Wachovia after a merger in 2001. 

Property records show that the 2.69 acres were sold in August 2023 for $3.8 million to 42320 Naples FL LLC, a company registered to Dan Creighton, the founder of Fort Myers-based Creighton Construction & Development, one of the top gas station contractors in Florida.  

Creighton Companies LLC is requesting a site development permit to build a 4,950-square-foot 7-Eleven store with 16 fueling positions and a 980-square-foot freestanding car wash located on that corner outparcel in the Airport Road Plaza subdivision. An area on the property to the north of 7-Eleven remains available for future development, according to plans filed with Collier County Growth Management. 

Access to the site will be a one-way, right-in turn off Radio Road and a shared connection of an existing access point farther east on Radio Road that serves as a common entrance with Dunkin’ Donuts, Gulf Coast Charter Academy South and Forza Child Development Center. Another shared access connection is available off Airport-Pulling Road to the north of the site. 

Another 7-Eleven recently built in East Naples by Creighton is targeted to open at the end of June at 8570 Collier Blvd., the Hammock Park area at Rattlesnake Hammock Road, the company reports. 

Bahama Breeze update 

Q: Any info as to when Bahama Breeze opens at the Coastland mall in Naples? —Neale Bergeron, Naples 

A: Bahama Breeze Island Grille is targeted to open June 24 as a freestanding outparcel next to CMX CinèBistro at Coastland Center mall in Naples. 

The new 10,390-square-foot restaurant at 2008 Ninth St. N. will be the 45th location of Bahama Breeze by Orlando-based Darden Restaurants, which also operates The Capital Grille, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, LongHorn Steakhouse, Olive Garden, Seasons 52 and Yard House chains. Bahama Breeze has operated its Caribbean-inspired casual restaurant and bar for decades on U.S. 41 in south Fort Myers. 

The Naples location has a more sophisticated look and upscale treatment that significantly downplays the restaurant’s usual corporate signage and casual beachside appearance. The brand’s typically vibrant exterior colors have been muted to pastels in Naples. Despite exterior changes, expect bright interior colors and a tropical motif.   

The lunch and dinner menus for the chain show starters that include a dozen appetizers, as well as soups and salads. Entrees feature seafood, steak, pork and chicken dishes, including handhelds such as burgers, sandwiches and tacos. The beverage menu includes beer, wine and colorful signature cocktails, including Margarita, rum and tequila flights. 

The “Tim Aten Knows” weekly column answers local questions from readers. Email Tim at tim.aten@naplespress.com. 

Copyright 2024 Gulfshore Life Media, LLC All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without prior written consent.

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