Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Naples design panel gives final approval to downtown promenade

A Naples design panel gave final approval Wednesday to a real estate developer’s plan for a Olde Naples downtown promenade of waterfront dining on Naples Bay.

The six-member design review board voted unanimously in favor of the project from Naples Bay Center LLC for five restaurants with rooftop and outdoor dining overlooking the bay near the intersection of Riverpoint Drive and the Fifth Avenue South bridge.

Harry Zea, the project’s developer, said construction should start this summer and that he hopes to have The Prom on Fifth open by the end of tourist season in 2018.

With approximately 450 seats of rooftop and outdoor dining, 10 dock spaces open to boaters and a boardwalk wrapping around the property, the project stands to become one of the largest public waterfront venues in the city.

“It had to be presented where it was an open atmosphere that incorporated the most fun aspect: the water,” Zea said about his vision for the promenade, which he calls a legacy project.

“It’s rewarding in the sense that I think when you have an idea that’s based upon good intentions — when you can make it actually work on the business side of things, it’s a perfect scenario.”

Zea said 16 restaurants are being considered for the five promenade spaces. He said there will be a variety of offerings.
Image result for Naples downtown promenade

“A seafood place, a steakhouse, a healthy-eating alternative — we want to make it a place where you go three to four times per week and not always go to the same restaurant,” Zea said.

Zea said the restaurants will be open for lunch and dinner throughout the week, with a possibility for Sunday brunch. The restaurants will close at 10 p.m. on weeknights and 11 p.m. on weekends, Zea said.
The 1.8-acre site, across Riverpoint Drive from Kelly’s Fish House, has sat vacant for years. The planned one-story building will include roughly 5,800 square feet of rooftop dining and two levels of underground parking. The 296 parking spaces will be open to the general public.

A sidewalk connects the site to Fifth Avenue to the west and Naples Bay Resort along with the Royal Harbor neighborhood to the east.

Design board members commended Zea and architects from Stofft Cooney Architects.

“It’s a wonderful project on many levels,” member Stephen Hruby said. “It’s going to create a destination off of Four Corners. It’s going to have a draw. It takes us across the bridge, which is sorely needed. It allows public access to the waterfront.”

Board chairman John Vorbach called the project a “unique idea.”

“For us being surrounded by water, there isn’t as much dining on water as you would expect,” he said. “I think it’s an exciting project.”

To find homes or condos in Downtown Naples or the Royal Harbor areas check out Naples Home

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Regatta Landing in Windstar on Naples Bay Highlights

Regatta Landing in Windstar on Naples Bay Highlights
Actively Selling — Condos from $520,990
A gated waterfront neighborhood of spacious coach homes with garages situated within Southwest Florida’s Windstar on Naples Bay golf andboating community.
·        Private gated enclave of only 64 upscale coach homes
·        Maintenance-free living for active adults
·        Carefree living in a prime Southwest Florida location
·        Golf and social membership opportunities available at the Windstar on Naples Bay Club
·        Prime location close to downtown Naples, a unique variety of shopping, dining and entertainment venues, pristine Southwest Florida beaches and parks, and easy access to points north and east via I-75

Regatta Landing in Windstar on Naples Bay is a new gated coach home community featuring a maintenance-free lifestyle for enjoying all that Southwest Florida’s Paradise Coast has to offer. Located within the 320-acre Windstar on Naples Bay master-planned community, Regatta Landing offers only sixty-four 2 and 3 bedroom coach home designs, all with two-car garages. A private community pool and cabana add to the intimacy of this enclave within Windstar on Naples Bay. Windstar on Naples Bay is Old Naples’ Hidden Gem, and offers its members the ultimate Florida lifestyle including a championship golf course, a private beach on the Gulf of Mexico, tennis courts, dining, and a wellness center. The lavish 2-story clubhouse is the perfect place to work out or enjoy a massage. At night, the clubhouse makes an ideal setting for social gatherings or to enjoy a drink and dinner with friends while overlooking the sunset on Naples Bay. This upscale neighborhood is the perfect close-to-town location that provides convenient access to downtown Naples, a unique variety of shopping, dining and entertainment venues, pristine Southwest Florida beaches and parks, and easy access to points north and east via I-75.
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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Collier County to take over Orange Tree Utility

After years of fighting in court for the right to run the water and sewer lines that serve a few thousand homes and businesses in the eastern part of the county, Collier County will at long last take over the Orange Tree Utility.
County commissioners voted 4-0 Tuesday to approve a settlement agreement with the small private water utility to run the waterworks, ending a fight that began in 2012. Commissioner Burt Saunders abstained from the vote because he represented the utility for years as a lawyer.
Several residents in attendance celebrated as commissioners voted, hopeful that with the county in charge, they will have better, more reliable service.
“We’re looking forward to dealing with people who believe in public service,” said Shirley Cothran, who lives in Waterways of Naples. “All our interactions with the Collier County water system have been positive, friendly and nice. The same cannot be said for Orange Tree.”
The move can only help a growing population near the Collier County Fairgrounds in the land surrounding Immokalee Road and Randall Boulevard, said Anthony Solomon, executive vice president and owner of The Ronto Group, a development company that owns many of the gated communities and planned developments in the area.
“It’s just been difficult for Orange Tree to get things done,” Solomon said. “They have a small operation, and they knew the county was going to take over, so they weren’t going to go out and hire people, and they can’t get bonds like most utilities. It’s just untenable and has been more than frustrating for customers.”
Some of that frustration has bubbled up in recent months as a new Publix waiting to get its water turned on has sat empty since November with its doors locked, almost taunting residents nearby and in Golden Gate Estates who have been waiting decades for a full-service grocery store.
Publix spokesman Brian West said the company is monitoring the takeover and is hopeful that any change will help move the project forward.
“Our customers are waiting to shop with us at their new store,” West said.
The county will take over the utility March 1.
Orange Tree Utility was created in the 1980s before county utilities ran that far to the east. Developers of the area were allowed to run the utility with a provision that the county could take it over at any time and at no cost once the county’s water and sewer lines caught up with development in the east.
In 2013, commissioners demanded the utility, but owners refused to hand it over, saying they were entitled to some compensation for the improvements and investments in the company. The county sued in 2014.
The county believes the utility has collected around $12 million in revenue over the years from its users, while investing only $10 million back into the system. Utility owners say the money has gone into the system. Rather than fight about the $2 million discrepancy, the settlement agreement will allow the utility, which is run by Roberto Bollt and Stephen Lowitz, to keep the money.
“That’s the cost. That’s the give and take,” said lawyer Brian Armstrong, who represents the county. “Let them have the $2 million and let them walk away with it.”
The utility owners still have developments in the area.
The utility and the county will split the cost to hire an engineering firm to determine if there is any excess capacity in the system. If excess capacity is found, then the county will rebate utility owners the value of that capacity by offering free hookups to the water and sewer lines in their developments.
The settlement is a good deal for residents and the county, Anderson said.

“The county is getting a utility that has a conservative value of $15 million,” Anderson said. “The utility generates an annual gross revenue of $1.7 million. The county is essentially getting a multimillion-dollar revenue asset for nothing. And this settles longstanding, protracted and expensive litigation.”
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To find Homes in the Waterways of Naples or other areas in  Golden Gate Estates visit