The Tamiami Crossings Shopping Center is now in the beginning stages of construction on 951/Collier Blvd, immediately north of the Walmart Shopping Center. You may have noticed the area being cleared, with lots of heavy machinery on site. For those of you who might not recognize the name, it’s the Kite Realty Company’s newest addition to that intersection (they already own the Shoppes at Eagle Creek, where the Fresh Market, Burger Fi, Panera Bread and Hoots are located). On this new site will be retail shops including Steinmart, Marshall’s, Ross, a pet store and more, plus a couple of out parcels will be constructed. I hope they won’t all be banks…you just can’t shop there! Their plans are to open for season in late fall. That intersection looks like it will be a busy place.
While speaking of new construction, Culver’s Restaurant has begun to build their restaurant on US 41 E, infront of the new Isles of Collier Preserve development. I would say that they should be finished in about 90 days. This company is from Wisconsin, and the people from that area exclaim over Culver’s ice cream, hamburgers, food, cleanliness, and service. We’ll all have to try it, but I’ll be one of the first in line! I’ve heard too much about it to wait a few days. The East Naples area has needed development like this for years and years. It feels so good to see some of it beginning to take place now.
Another new building that has just opened is the memory care facility on Davis Blvd., called the “Villa at Terracina Grand” by the Goodman Group, near the entrance to Glen Eagle, and across the road from County Barn Road. This innovative memory care community is gorgeous! A most delicious meal was served by wait staff dressed in tuxedos andwhite gloves at the Grand Opening. The rooms and common areas were gorgeous! Outside, after the dinner, they had a lovely band followed by a fireworks display. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a magnificent grand opening in my life!
Everyone has read with pride all of the stories of Marco Island’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, but I’d like to give you a personal look. The Marco Chamber and the Marco Historical Society worked hand-in-hand for an outstanding presentation at this black-tie affair. As I looked around the room, I saw the crème de le crème of Marco Island. My seat was with the Craig Woodward family – a strong part of Marco history in itself! Craig sat there so proudly as he mentioned that his daughter was the artist who created the 50th Anniversary logo, one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. (I think I need to hire her to design thelogo for my re-election campaign!). Pat Rutledge, Miss Historical Society herself, always found time to hug everyone she came in contact with, and Sandi Reidmann/Lazarus was busily making sure every t was crossed and every i was dotted, as she so capably does at every Chamber event. The spotlight was on Craig Woodward as he told the audience fascinating stories of Marco past. The 7-piece band was more than outstanding! The Marriott, this being the last night of celebrations before the demolition, which was taking place the next day, presented a dinner fit for royalty! You could never tell they were closing the next day for a few months. It was truly a memorable night!
May 2nd was the date for the 5th Honor Flight, flying our WWII veterans to Washington, D.C. for the day, to view the memorials, with their escorts by their sides, and returning late in the evening. Marco Island wasrepresented at the airport in full force, with the American Legion, Post 404 represented by Ray and Linda Rosenberg, John Gariety, Joe Doggett, Jesse Daffron, Phil Ballou and his son Steve Ballou, and yours truly. The airplane touched down at RSW at 11:30 PM, but by the time the veterans were assembled and ready to proceed up the ramp, it was 12:40 AM! The bag-pipe band was playing, the JROTC’s did a sword welcome, and there was music everywhere. The DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) were there, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, and so many groups representing a wide range of veteran supporters that I cannot name all of them, plus our own Jim von Rinteln from Marco. The space I have for this column just cannot list all of the wonderful people who came out to honor our veterans. It was truly a heart-warming night. Thanks to Ray and Linda Rosenberg for always including me! You are wonderful!