Commercial development and redevelopment are humming right along as new business and existing ones are coming forward to improve the goods and services they offer to Marco Island residents.
One of the first stops along that process lies in working with city staff before those plans reach both the planning board and city council for their final stamps of approval.
High on the list of concerns from city officials, lies with two very upfront and focused issues. The first being to insure those new buildings will be supplying adequate parking for patrons. The second issue is to carefully review their plans for water retention and adequate storm water management.
Storm water and the protection of the fragile eco-system that it will eventually be discharged into was a major focus of all the candidates who ran in the recent council elections, as they heard from their constituents that it was very important to them.
One of the first major projects before officials is the complete redevelopment of what islander’s refer to as the “big Publix,” located at the intersection of Barfield and San Marco Road. That Site Plan Development hearing was recently held before the planning board and was approved.
The entire Publix store will be demolished, and a new and more modern facility will be erected on that same site. This will not affect any of the other retail outlets but will give Publix the ability to build what they feel will be a more customer friendly and updated facility.
Improvements to storm water management has been a priority within their plans and has met with the approval of city staff. One of the other opportunities it affords Publix is to make available a drive-thru window for pharmacy pick up.
That project still must receive council approval and the start date is not finalized, but it is assumed it will be after the close of season this year and will involve about 12 months of demolition and
ABC Liquor Store
Islanders will soon have another choice to purchase their favorite spirit. ABC Liquors has passed through the staff review and planning board consideration. They will be a new addition to the island, having never had an outlet on Marco.
That new building will be built on property at the intersection of Chalmer Drive and Bald Eagle.
Once again, parking and stormwater management was a major focus of the review of those plans.
There will soon be a second branch of Chase Bank in the location that formerly housed the Burger King in the Shops of Marco Plaza, at the intersection of San Marco Road and Barfield Drive. That building will be completely remodeled for its new purpose, and will provide additional banking services for island residents.
Sherwin Williams Paint
Also under construction at this time is a new, free-standing retail store that will house the popular Sherwin Williams Paint Outlet. They are presently located at 814 Bald Eagle Drive, in the same complex as Bill Smith Appliances.
They will be moving up Bald Eagle to the corner of Hartley Avenue and Bald Eagle Drive. That project is now under construction and is expected to open sometime next spring.
First Florida Integrity Bank
Success and growth within the Marco Island community has helped to drive First Florida Integrity Bank to build its own free-standing branch just down the street from its present location. Presently the bank is in the CVS Plaza near the intersection of Bald Eagle and Collier Boulevard. However, patrons won’t have travel very far beyond that to find them at their new facility which is now under construction at Windward Drive and Bald Eagle.
Marco Town Center
After an exhaustive review of plans to provide a major facelift to the Marco Town Center they are awaiting final plans that will revitalize that important anchor shopping area at the intersection of Bald Eagle and Collier Boulevard. It houses the smaller Publix grocery store, as well as numerous other popular retail outlets, including the Marco Island Brewery.
That project will entail a major facelift on the building, improved parking in the rear of the building as well as upgraded stormwater management and upgraded landscaping.
Plans not yet presented may bring forward a redevelopment within the vicinity of the small retail area adjacent to the Old Marco Inn, which houses some small restaurants and retail shops. Nothing has been finalized and staff is reviewing what impacts it might have on the area. At their last meeting, the planning board was advised of that something might be brought forward in the next couple of months.