I could hardly believe how the traffic this past week reduced dramatically, and I haven’t even seen a car carrier yet! I don’t think the weather is very nice up north yet, so I’ve been surprised at the drop in traffic. Have you noticed it as well?
.Many of you know that I have my Old Order Amish “family” up in Ohio. They’ve had quite an experience this past week that I want to tell you about. The father, Marvin, woke up early, and even though it was 27 degrees outside, he took his cup of coffee out rather than wake the family. When he got outside he smelled smoke. He quickly went to the barn and got the horses out, and then went back for the calf. He called to his wife and sons (and my “sister” Fannie) saying, “FIRE.” He then raced over to their mechanic’s garage where they fix cars and trucks, and quickly got the very expensive truck out of there, but after that everything was in flames and they couldn’t get anything else out. Luckily the fire didn’t spread to the house. It took longer for the fire department to get there because the streets were so slippery. When the firemen got there they were able to extinguish the fire, but everything had already burned to the ground. Luckily the family was blessed because they were all safe, the animals were out, the house wasn’t touched, and they even saved the truck (but couldn’t save any of their equipment or tools). Another blessing was that they had insurance. The insurance adjuster was there within two hours. Family, neighbors, friends and church members started streaming in almost immediately bringing help to clean up all the damage, the ladies brought food for all the workers, and a few guys started drawing up plans for the new buildings. That was Wednesday. By Friday most of the damage was cleared and hauled away and they started digging the footers. Saturday they were placing cement blocks in place. Sunday, of course, was a day of rest. The rest of this coming week will be used to order all the materials needed for their barn raising on Saturday, so that by the time you read this they will be building both the barn and the shop. These people are the most talented, skilled and dedicated people you’d ever want to meet. I just wish I could be there for the barn raising! I’m hoping they will film it on their phones. (Yes, their Bishop allows cell phones in this district.) I just thought you’d like to hear about how neighbors help neighbors in the Amish community. Notice they didn’t need permits, approvals, or zoning, or certified engineers or architects to draw up the plans to rebuild. So in less than two weeks they’ll be using the barn for the animals and getting their shop outfitted with equipment and tools.
.We keep hearing about a shortage of rental units, especially in the medium income bracket. Well, help is on the way in East Naples, plus we already have many in operation that are not counted, like the Aster on 951/Collier Boulevard across from Physicians Regional, Napoli on Davis Boulevard, and Sierra Grande Apartments on Rattlesnake Hammock Road.
Milano Lakes Apartments is a new one that is expected to open April 9 with the first 80 apartments out of a 296-projected total. One, two, and three-bedroom apartments are priced at $1,300 to $1,800 per month. Milano Lakes is located on Lord’s Way across from Naples Lakes Country Club on Collier Boulevard. The first phase will include garages, completion of the clubhouse and resort style pool, as well as a covered kids playground, dog park, fitness center, BBQ area, and a multipurpose field within the gated community.
Another one that is clearing their ground right now is The Crest at Naples, and vertical construction will begin shortly. Located on US 41E and Southwest Boulevard across from Whistler’s Cove, it will be a 200-unit luxury rental, two-story gated multifamily apartment complex, which sounds lovely and great for teachers, nurses and hospital workers, firemen, deputies, etc.; the backbone of our community. This project will be highly amenitized with gated entrances, garages for residents, resort-style swimming pool, fitness center, bocce ball courts, a kid’s play area, dog park, and a four-acre lake with large preserves and buffer for the site.
And still another one being built as we speak, is about 350 units of apartments at the entrance to Lely Resort on Grand Lely Drive. They will include garages for those who want to rent them. I will give you more information on this apartment complex in my next newsletter. This should cut the shortage down considerably, but the need is at the north end of town for the new 1,000 jobs being created between Arthrex and the new Oakes Farm’s Seed to Table grocery complex (with everything you could ever want!).
All the jobs seem to be in the City of Naples or the north end of town where the hotels, restaurants, office buildings, high rises, hospitals, etc. are located, but very few places for these workers to live. I’m not sure why they don’t build places for these people to live rather than have them drive from Ft. Myers or East Naples to work each and every day. We have no hotels in East Naples, hardly any restaurants (but the ones we do have are extremely busy feeding the multitudes of people at this end of town), one small hospital, very few retail stores, yet we house most of the workers in Collier County. Just doesn’t seem fair, does it?