It’s getting down to the wire for Big Cypress Market Place, a sprawling rural shopping and entertainment center about four miles east of Collier Boulevard on U.S. 41.
After some building delays and coping with the lengthy permitting process, the market place is due for its certificate of occupation within about a week.
A soft opening should take place about two weeks after that, said Basik Development President Keith Basik during a sneak peek of the nearly-completed facility for members of the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce.
Among Marco Island-owned businesses going into the complex are Art Stone Creations (stone art, candles and gifts) owned by Ulises Miranda; Island Factory Blinds owned by Gary Jarstad, and Cottage by the Sea (small furniture, home decor, jewelry, gifts) owned by Monica Diaz.
The core of the market will be about 150 vendors offering all sorts of products and services, while a much-touted added attraction is a “hands-on” winery and also an entertainment/expo venue.
The complex’s cavernous size will embrace 87,000 square feet under air conditioning, and also feature a food court, a second floor mezzanine overlooking the market, and an entertainment area for special events.
Outside groups or individuals will be able to rent the arena area, as well as an expo area (14,000 square feet) for their own private functions, trade shows or exhibits.
Low rental costs for vendors could be one of Basik’s trump cards, with one-year leases running around $600 a month.
Basik told the group that the winery notion will likely be a big attraction for Marco Island and Naples aficionados, particularly in the light of Naples’ annual charitable wine festival.
Considering the market’s proximity to a part of U.S. 41 that was recently declared a National Scenic Highway, Basik has also incorporated a little local historical culture into the project.
They reflect the building of the Tamiami Trail, the influences of the Seminole Indians, and also the allure of the Everglades.
For further information, contact Basik Development at 262-3210. Market Place hours will be Friday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with some watering holes and eateries likely operating on additional days and evenings.