Monday, November 29, 2021

The Latest From East Naples




Donna Fiala

Many have wondered what ever happened to the plan to build a swimming pool for the Eagle Lakes Community Park in East Naples. It is alive and well and kicking! They had a lot to do for planning and changing plans, etc., then design, then sending out for bid, then moving forward. I think it’s taken two years – two LONG years, but we can see a light at the end of the tunnel, although it’s still far in the distance. It will probably built by next year fall…I know, don’t ask me…what takes so long? But, on the positive side, at least it will be built. I doubt that many children in the East Naples area have ever seen a swimming pool, so this will really be a treat for them. It will also be a boost for the Lely High School’s swim team who now has to be transported to Golden Gate to swim. This will be a great place for the drowning prevention program to be taught.

It is so exciting to know that Skillets restaurant is now working on the inside of their building at the entrance to Lely Resort and across the street from VeronaWalk! Boy have they got a surprise waiting for them. They thought there wouldn’t be any business in this area, but then they never heard about The Fresh Market and how busy they remain. I loved some of the stories about them running out of food because they had never planned on crowds like the throngs that continue to shop there. And what about Stein Mart? They had to bring people in from other states to handle the business. It was their second largest opening in the country! Every quality store that has opened has been surprised by their reception. That’s of course because that intersection draws from Marco Island, Fiddler’s, Eagle Creek, Capri, Lely Resort, Naples Lakes, VeronaWalk, Forest Glen, Naples Heritage, the U.S. 41 corridor, which includes Treviso Bay, Isles of Collier Preserve, Lakewood, and if its new to the area they even draw from the City of Naples, which is much closer than North Naples! We really do surprise people!

Being that this little newspaper is not so little anymore and its distribution area is much wider, I want to remind you of the Murder Mystery Dinner being presented by the East Naples Kiwanis Club (come on Marco Kiwanis – you can be the highlight of the evening!) being held on Oct. 23rd from 4 to 7 PM at the Naples Lakes Country Club on Collier Boulevard. The name of the play is “Evil Never Dies”…oooo. It is their annual fundraiser and the money received goes directly into the community to help a whole lot of children who have far less than we do, and who are really forgotten in the scheme of things because most people send their dollars to the Immokalee community. East Naples has SIX Title 1 Elementary Schools, and many of those children need such basic things as shoes, pants, shirts, and toys such as basketballs, soccer balls, baseballs, etc. The East Naples Kiwanis Club, a very small club by all standards, does everything they can to help the underprivileged children in their community, but a giant fundraiser would sure help. None of the proceeds goes to the club’s expenses or overhead. ALL goes directly into the community! ALL OF IT! Of course, that’s what Kiwanis Clubs and Rotary Clubs do anyway – they all raise funds for children and never for themselves. It’s in the bylaws! The Marco Beach Ocean Resort is a contributor of a two-night stay, which will be auctioned off that evening to help raise funds. To buy tickets to the Murder Mystery Dinner call 239-403-Kids.

• In case you haven’t heard: That rusting mess of steel looking like a “skeleton building” will now take on a wonderful new look and a great store! It will become a BJ’s Wholesalers! I’ve heard great things about them so I’m looking forward to seeing what they have to offer.

• The Porsche dealership, long in the planning, will begin to build their new dealership on Davis Boulevard at Airport Road. The building is beautiful, according to the renderings, and looks like their building in Boca Raton. Magnificent indeed! We’ll keep you informed as it progresses.

• WaWa gas station and grocery store (out of Pennsylvania originally) will be coming to the 951/41 corridor. They purchased the land just west of the Fifth Third Bank on Price Street (across the street from The Fresh Market). They are in the final phases of approval before moving forward. It’s beginning to feel like U.S.41 E is becoming the gas station magnet of the area! There certainly aren’t enough people to support all the gas stations in the area as it is, and now we have three WaWa’s coming, seven giant interstate Race Trac’s (in different phases), there will be two Murphy’s Oil stations once they expand the existing Walmart to a 24-hour grocery store next to the Collier County Government Center, and another gas station across the street where they will be building a Sam’s Club! It’s going to feel like our little community is located on an Interstate! Oh, and another car wash is going in next to the Culver’s on U.S. 41E! I’d prefer to see a few sit-down restaurants of quality where you can DINE, and more retail shops to purchase other household items, like a Bed Bath & Beyond, or a Home Goods. You can’t shop for your family in a gas station! By the way, I’ve planted those ideas with the owner of the Freedom Square Shopping Center where they are now looking for the right tenant for the old K-Mart. And have you seen the Hobby Lobby? It’s huge! They are busy loading shelves and training employees. We’ll all have to check them out when they open. I wonder if they’ll have fabrics.

One response to “The Latest From East Naples”

  1. Kmiller says:

    WaWa is SO much more than a gas station. Forget about that and go for the coffee, fresh hoagies, soft pretzels and a much cleaner store than 7 eleven could ever be! Welcome!! As a former employee from another lifetime (30 yearsago), they are a quality company with a lot to offer! Can’t wait!!!!

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