Q: Any opening date for Lake Park Diner coming to Founders Square? — Alexandra Machin, North Naples
Q: What is going in where Slicers was supposed to be at Founders Square? — Rebecca Feldman, Naples
Q: Any word on when the new Ace Hardware will be opening at Immokalee Road and Collier Boulevard? — Andrew Sanchez, Golden Gate Estates
Q: You have any idea what’s going on with the 7-Elevan up on Immokalee Road just a bit east of 951? — Annette Diaz, North Naples
Q: Is there a target date for opening Spenga at Founders Square? — Dana Sill, Naples
A: The redevelopment of the 55-acre former plant nursery property on the southeast corner of Immokalee Road and Collier Boulevard continues to generate additional details about commercial plans for the mixed-use Founders Square. The Pointe
The only vacant unit remaining in The Pointe at Founders Square will be filled soon in the undeveloped space between Fuji and I Heart Mac & Cheese in that restaurant-centric collection on the hard corner of that busy intersection. T-Yummi Boba Bar is planned for the 1,484-square-foot Unit 140 at 8845 Founders Square Drive that originally was going to be another location of Slicers Hoagies, said Eric Mallory, executive vice president of Metro Commercial, which is co-developing Founders Square with Barron Collier Companies and Trinity Commercial Group.
Buildout has yet to begin on T-Yummi, which will be operated by Ty Nguyen, who also owns Luxury Nails & Spa on the other side of The Pointe at Founders Square, Mallory said.
Two Florida locations of T-Yummi were opened last year in Gainesville and Miami by different operators. The casual cafe features grab-and-go Vietnamese street food such as banh mi sandwiches, egg rolls and pho noodle soup. Its specialty is a variety of boba teas, commonly called bubble tea or milk tea, a mixture of tea, milk and a variety of flavors with chewy tapioca pearls. The outparcels
On seven outparcel lots for Founders Square along the south side of Immokalee Road, the 7-Eleven property is the only one completed so far. The convenience store, 16-pump gas station and on-site car wash have been completed for months, but the franchise has yet to open. It is now targeted to open in March.
“People are dying to get an alternative to RaceTrac (across the street) and they see that 7-Eleven’s sign is on and the building looks all done so everybody’s eager to get at it, but it is an internet issue,” Mallory said.
That new 7-Eleven franchise is the first for DeRoso Holdings, owned by Elisa and Steven DeRoso of Golden Gate Estates. The DeRosos have had their retail beverage license for the store since early November, but the installation of a fiber-optic cable has kept the store from opening.
“Connectivity is our biggest hurdle to date. The store is done, outside of connectivity,” said Steven DeRoso. “We are working to have that solved so that we can get open. We are really excited to be part of the community there.”
A 1-acre vacant outparcel east of 7-Eleven will be home to Roadies Pit Stop, a slightly more than 1,000-square-foot quick-service coffee shop with a triple drive-thru window. Traffic will enter and exit the lot from behind the business off Founders Square Drive and travel through one of three drive-thru lanes on the east side of the building, site development plans show.Construction on Kelly’s Roast Beef broke ground in late January on the lot between 7-Eleven and the Roadies parcel. The franchise of a popular fast-casual, Boston-based concept known for its roast beef sandwiches and lobster rolls, Kelly’s restaurant also will have a drive-thru.
Lake Park Diner Founders Square will be built on a 1.4-acre lot between 7-Eleven and The Pointe. The freestanding restaurant will be the third location for the Naples-based concept from Paul Fleming Restaurants. It is targeted to open near the end of this year or in early 2024.Dallas-based First Foundation Bank, which acquired Naples-based First Florida Integrity Bank in 2021, will have a branch on another lot near the eastern edge of the property and the last lots available are on either side of it.
“We have those two outparcels remaining. Whatever good uses we’re eager to work with,” Mallory said. “There are a lot of uses that could go out there. What’s amazed me is that there hasn’t been interest from automotive uses. It’s a corner that has no automotive uses, which is odd.” The Plaza
The Plaza, a multiunit retail strip that will be anchored by Sunshine Ace Hardware, is under construction in the center of Founders Square. The 20,000-square-foot hardware store will open on The Plaza’s eastern end this spring, said President Michael Wynn. “No later than the end of April, and if all goes well, early to mid-April,” Wynn said.
Sunshine Ace Hardware has promoted Maide Mendez to the role of store manager for the local company’s 10th Ace location. Mendez is the fourth female store manager for Sunshine Ace stores in Collier County and south Lee.
Next door to the hardware store, Sarah and Scott Ubele look forward to introducing Spenga to Founders Square this year. “Probably mid-summer as it stands right now but this is certainly a moving target,” said Scott Ubele. The Southwest Florida franchise owners’ first area location for Spenga, which has workout sessions with a combination of spin, strength training and yoga, opened two years ago in Naples’ Neapolitan Way.
In The Plaza unit immediately west of Spenga, Dr. Rodion Pinkhasov plans to open a dental office in the second half of 2023. He is in the design stage now, planning a more than 4,000-square-foot futuristic office with 12 sleek dental chairs and two surgical suites that will offer in-house dentistry from A to Z, he said. “I’m going to make it state-of-the-art, not just like a regular dental office,” said Pinkhasov, a Fort Myers resident.
On the western side of the dental office will be Restore, a hyper-wellness center with cutting-edge services such as cryotherapy, IV drip therapy and an infrared sauna. The chain has area locations in North Naples and Estero.
Immediately to the west of Restore will be Havana Libre Cuban Cuisine, a local restaurant owned by Angel Madera and his family. The Maderas, who immigrated from Cuba to the United States in 1995, have operated Havana Libre on Golden Gate Parkway since 2017. Their new 3,200-square-foot location coming this year to the middle of The Plaza will have a full bar and outdoor dining.
Anchoring the western end of The Plaza will be a new dining concept, Oar & Iron Raw Bar & Grill. RAVentures Hospitality reimagined its 110 Grill franchise originally announced for this spot to create Oar & iron, an upscale, casual steak and seafood restaurant with a full bar and an abundance of indoor and outdoor dining. Read more details about Oar & Iron in last week’s Tim Aten Knows column.
The two units between Havana Libre and Oar & Iron are the only spaces still available in The Plaza. Each unit is about 3,000 square feet. “There are a lot of uses that could go in there,” Mallory said.
The “Tim Aten Knows” weekly column answers local questions from readers. Email Tim at Tim.Aten@NaplesPress.com.