Saturday, April 17, 2021




Donna Fiala

A new Senior Housing Development has just started construction on Rattlesnake Hammock Rd. and C.R. 951/Collier Blvd. It is being built by the same developer that built Aston Gardens in North Naples and another in Lee County. This community — Discovery Village — will be a rental community offering 120 units with an indoor pool, fitness center and movie theater. They will provide independent living, assisted living and memory care.

That whole corridor is building up quickly! There is Hacienda Lakes coming out of the ground with 1731 dwelling units, 395,000 square feet of retail and 140,000 square feet of commercial. Also, in that same corridor, The Arlington just had their ground breaking — an elegant continuum of care facility that has a few remaining units that can still be purchased. Verona Walk has purchased additional land to add many more units to their very popular community. Chili’s is being built along that same corridor in the out-parcel in front of WalMart near Davis Blvd.

Lots of action taking place, and many more places will be built for us to shop and dine as East Naples comes to life. A new shopping center is in the planning stages right now in the C.R. 951/U.S. 41 area that will host a T.J. Max, Michael’s, Marshall’s and a pet store. It will be a while yet before you see those stores, but they have already signed on the dotted line. In the area across U.S. 41 from the construction of Outback will be a Culver’s Ice Cream and Butter Burgers, which will probably begin to build in late spring. I understand that the Fresh Market has trounced all projections set for their opening months by almost double. It even beats the store in North Naples; I think we knocked their socks off. We all knew it was a great area to build — but the merchants had no idea.

Although the intersection expansion has been delayed by a couple months, the C.R. 951/U.S. 41 improvements will begin in January. All the permits and acquisitions are in order or being worked on, and everything is ready to proceed. It will be a little touchy to get through that area as the construction swings into high gear. We’ll still be able to get into the shopping center by using the back roads — Tower Rd. and Price Street — which also leads into U.S. 41 South, leading towards the city of Naples. It won’t be too bad for Marco Islanders to go in that direction, but might be a little more challenging to get to I-75. Make sure to take extra time to make trips through that intersection. The roads are being built just in time to accommodate all the new units being built, which is estimated to be around 12,000 new dwelling units. That doesn’t include shopping and commercial, nor redevelopment.

New shorebird signs will be on display at Tigertail Beach and South Marco Access as a permanent reminder to share the shore. Local artist Phil Fisher captured the black skimmer, piping plover, tern and seagull beautifully in his original watercolor painting. Lykins-Signtek created the finished product. Collier County’s Parks and Recreation Department will be installing the new shorebird protection signs along eight shorelines in Collier County. Local businessman David Collar and his 10-year-old son, Austin, sponsored the artwork and four signs. Best-selling author and snowbird, Robin Cook, donated four signs. The original watercolor artwork was graciously donated by the sponsor and will be auctioned at a future fundraiser for the Naples Audubon Society.

Lastly, may your holiday season be the best you’ve ever had, and may the New Year hold much happiness and good health to you and yours.

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