Q: What’s the story on the application from Home Depot to build on 41 near Lowe’s across from Lely? — Dan Kreuzer, East Naples
A: Although the project is still in the works, a neighborhood information meeting scheduled this month for companion requests by The Home Depot regarding its new store proposed on U.S. 41 East has been canceled. The public meeting originally scheduled for March 13 will be rescheduled for a later date.
The store is proposed on six undeveloped parcels totaling nearly 14 acres at 11990 Tamiami Trail E., across U.S. 41 from Lely Resort. The Home Depot has filed companion requests with the county to rezone the acreage and amend the growth management plan to allow for development of the big-box, full-line home improvement store within the next few years.
Project representatives at the neighborhood information meeting will provide details and field questions about the request to amend the future land use map of the growth management plan to establish The Home Depot Southeast Naples Commercial Subdistrict for 13.77 acres located on the south side of U.S. 41 just south of Barefoot Williams Road and to the north of Habitat Road.
Home Depot also requests to rezone the property from a C-3 intermediate commercial zoning district to The Home Depot Southeast Naples commercial planned unit development to allow a maximum of 140,000 square feet of commercial gross floor area, which may include any use permitted in the C-3 zoning district, home improvement stores and related uses.
The wooded property forms a narrow strip in front of Marco Naples RV Resort on Barefoot Williams Road that is southeast of the Hitching Post Plaza and RaceTrac gas station. The new store is planned only about one mile away from the Lowe’s home improvement store in the Shops at Eagle Creek at U.S. 41 East and Collier Boulevard. Both Lowe’s and The Home Depot are nationwide retail chains that are publicly owned competitors providing one-stop shops for both professional contractors and do-it-yourself customers.With two stores each already operating in East Naples and North Naples by Lowe’s and The Home Depot, the new proposal for The Home Depot would be its third store in Collier. The world’s largest home improvement retailer and one of the top retailers overall in the nation operates more than 2,000 company-owned stores in the United States. The new store is expected to be consistent with The Home Depot store prototype, which averages 106,800 square feet with another more than 25,000 square feet of outside area for garden and landscaping products.
The Southeast Naples trade area and Collier County, in general, are both underserved by home improvement retail, according to a needs analysis prepared by Kalibrate on behalf of The Home Depot. Relative to the population, there are fewer Home Depot and Lowe’s retailers in Collier County relative to surrounding areas while area demographics show a high demand for home improvement products.
Significant population growth also is projected in the area that would be served by the new East Naples site in the coming years. Collier County’s population is expected to gain nearly 60,000 residents during the next 10 years, with 30% of that growth within the trade area of the proposed Home Depot. Presenting a correlation between median household income and home improvement spending, the trade area for the proposed store and Collier County overall fall below the trendline when analyzing aggregate spending compared to median household income, suggesting that there is an unmet demand, Kalibrate reports.
According to its traffic impact statement, the proposed project will be a significant traffic generator on U.S. 41. Most of the area roadway network analyzed has sufficient capacity to accommodate the proposed project within the five-year planning period, the report shows. Waiting on tables
Q: Just checking to see if you have any updates on Bahama Breeze and Twin Peaks. I see the signs are still there but nothing else. Thanks. — Tom Bouse, Naples
Q: The Cheddar’s in the old Sweet Tomatoes building was due to be ready by the end of January. Obviously, the building is nowhere near completion. Have they given an update on expected timing? — Diane Ward, Naples
A: The Bahama Breeze Island Grille and Twin Peaks chains of restaurants and bars are still expected to break ground soon at Coastland Center on two vacant mall outparcels on either side of CMX CinéBistro along Golden Gate Parkway in Naples.
The Naples project for Bahama Breeze moved forward Feb. 22 when its final design review was approved by the city’s Design Review Board. City Council adopted a resolution in mid-December that approved the site plan for Bahama Breeze.
Construction is expected to start later this year and the new Bahama Breeze is targeted to open in early 2024, said Rich Jeffers, senior director of communications for Orlando-based Darden Restaurants. The large freestanding restaurant will have 10,390 square feet of indoor and outdoor dining on less than half an acre at 2088 Ninth St. N.
Darden also is transforming the 7,000-square-foot shell of the former Sweet Tomatoes restaurant in North Naples into Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen. The casual restaurant with a bar is expected to open this summer at the Granada Shoppes outparcel on the southeast corner of U.S. 41 North and Immokalee Road. The new Darden restaurants undoubtedly will follow the longtime local success along U.S. 41 of its other popular brands: Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52 and Yard House.
Although it has yet to break ground, Twin Peaks also is planned at Coastland Center within the next year. The freestanding restaurant and bar will not be inside the mall but rather just outside it on an undeveloped outparcel site on the north side of the mall across from Naples High School.
Twin Peaks is anxious to start construction but it’s still in the permitting process with the city of Naples, said Fred Burgess, co-chief executive officer of DMD Ventures, which holds the exclusive development rights in southern Florida for the Dallas-based restaurant brand. DMD launched the Fort Myers location for Twin Peaks in the fall of 2015.
“We hope that they issue our building permit shortly and then we’ll open about six to seven months after it’s issued,” Burgess said.
The proposed 10,530-square-foot restaurant will abut the existing parking garage just east of the new CMX CinéBistro. The proposed restaurant will include about 8,650 square feet under air and about 1,880 square feet of outdoor patio area.
The “Tim Aten Knows” weekly column answers local questions from readers. Email Tim at Tim.Aten@NaplesPress.com.