Work should begin shortly to spruce up the more than 30-year-old Island Plaza with an updated appearance.
A groundbreaking was held this week for the approximately $2.3 million project being undertaken by the plaza’s owner, Hendricks Commercial Properties Group, based in Beloit, Wis.
Located at the corner of North Collier Boulevard and Bald Eagle Drive, Island Plaza is home to a Bealls Outlet store, a CVS Pharmacy, Jet’s Surf Shop, Davide Italian Cafe & Deli and other retailers, with office space located on its second floor.
Plans include the addition of a clock towernear Jet’s, updated building facades, an outdoor seating area near the intersection of North Collier and San Marco, new landscaping and modern lighting, and improving the walkway from Herb Savage Way to the parking lot. Parking will also be revamped to add 20 spaces to the current total of about 210, including parking in the plaza’s rear for tenants and their employees.
“It’s not going to look anything like it does today,” said Rob Gerbitz, Hendricks’ president and CEO.
Gerbitz said construction should begin within two to three weeks. “We want to do it beforehigh season, so basically before Nov. 1 is the (completion) goal,” he added.
The work will be done in phases, probably four of them, to minimize disturbance to tenant’s businesses. “We’re trying to minimize that as best we can,” said Gerbitz.
It was in July of 2013 that Hendricks Commercial Properties purchased the Island Plaza, which was erected in in 1979 and 1980.
“One of the reasons we brought the property was because we saw the opportunity to do all of this, to increase people’s awareness of the property,” said Gerbitz. “It’s a prominent piece ofproperty on Marco Island. The building, unfortunately, just hasn’t been redone since it was built, for the most part, and it needs that revitalization to get more tenants interested and obviously, increase our rents over time and things like that. That’s part of our process, not for this building, but for all of our buildings. That’s the driver here, for sure.”
Prior to the groundbreaking ceremony, Roger Hernstadt, Marco’s city manager, described the project as “a great example of how government and private industry can work together. I believe this project is a shining example of how this can happen.”