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Major Development Projects on the Horizon – What You Should Know

As we all know, the pace of development and redevelopment activity has only increased in recent years, ironically stimulated rather than suppressed both by the Pandemic and Hurricane Ian.

Here is my short list of projects that will be coming to City staff and/or to City Council and its advisory boards for consideration and approval over the next six months. Some are private development proposals and some are public (City) projects. But these are all matters that engaged residents should be paying attention to in the months ahead.

I. Private Development Proposals

  • NCH Heart, Vascular and Stroke Institute – requests for conditional use, rezoning and site plan approvals anticipated in late 2023/early 2024.
  • Naples Beach Hotel – final approvals for this development including buildings on the east side of the property and the Golf Course property. Anticipated time frame is late 2023/early 2024. These actions, if and when approved, will trigger the recording of the conservation easement that will protect and maintain the golf course portion of the property as open space in perpetuity.
  • Gulf Shore Boulevard North redevelopment – There are a number of petitions already before the city for replacing older condo properties on GSBN between the Naples Beach and Doctors Pass with new multi-family residential structures.  At this time, all will receive administrative review only – and not come before Council —  because they purport to meet our current zoning code and related land use ordinances.  If staff determines that variances or deviation from our code are required, the projects would then need to come before Council. In addition, City Council has given its preliminary support to a GSBN planning study (“Miracle Mile Plan”) that will look at the publicly-owned portion of the GBSN corridor and make recommendations as to how this important stretch of roadway can be enhanced and beautified.
  • Avenues Project on Fifth Avenue – There has been a great deal of buzz about this proposal, which is currently in administrative staff review. This involves the former St. George and the Dragon site and is currently slated, based on information provided to the Design Review Board, to be a large mixed use project including condominium residences, restaurants, a Whole Foods store, a Restoration Hardware store, and underground parking. Beyond staff review, this project will need to ultimately come before Council for approval of alley vacations and a subdivision plat change.
  • Olde Naples Hotel and Old Naples Building – The Old Naples Hotel proposal at Gordon and Broad received City Council approval in 2018 but has not since moved forward. While rumors continue to circulate as to development plans for this property, there is nothing definitive at this time. Meanwhile, the nearby Olde Naples Building, which is owned by the same party as the proposed hotel, recently came to Council for approval of outdoor dining for a new proposed restaurant to occupy that building. This request was denied by Council by a 6-1 vote due to the lack of required parking to support it. This matter is now under litigation.

II. Public/City Projects

  • Naples Pier – The Naples Pier, as we all know, was destroyed by Hurricane Ian. City Council retained a team of architects and marine engineers to design a new pier, which is now underway. Our hope is to have a final plan approved by year end, with a new pier complete before the end of 2025. This is a City project with a currently estimated cost of over $20 million, a portion of which will be reimbursed by FEMA and other third party resources.
  • Gulf Shore Boulevard Beach Outfalls Project – This complex city public works project, aimed at improving the water quality of stormwater discharges into the Gulf of Mexico and reducing flooding along Gulf Shore Boulevard and vicinity in the Old Naples neighborhood, remains on track. The City has hired a construction manager who will bring to City Council final design and cost estimates by year end. Construction in phases is expected to occur in 2024 and 2025.
  • Gulf Shore Playhouse Parking Garage – The new Gulf Shore Playhouse theatre complex is under construction at Goodlette Frank Road and 1st Avenue South. As part of our public-private partnership with the Playhouse, the City committed to building a public parking garage that could be utilized by the Playhouse but also by the broader community for all purposes. The closing on the transfer to the City of the property for the garage will occur in early October and garage construction is expected to begin soon thereafter.