Call them whatever you want, but don’t expect any of those names to stick.
Naples City Council on Monday said they did not want to proceed with any efforts to name the two parking garages on Eighth Street South.
Council in February proposed the parking garage on Eighth Street South and Sixth Avenue South, across from Cambier Park, and the parking garage on Eighth Street South and Fourth Avenue South, near Sugden Theatre, to avoid confusion.
Council at the time suggested naming the newest garage, the one on Sixth Avenue South, the Cooper’s Hawk Garage, after the protected birds that nested in the empty lot last summer. Council then suggested naming the other garage after another bird found in Southwest Florida.
That idea didn’t fly with the city’s community services advisory board, which handles namings. During the board’s February meeting, Chairwoman Lois Selfon said most people wouldn’t understand the humor in naming the garages after the hawks, and suggested that instead the city pursue financial contributions in return for naming rights.
That was three months ago, and no one has expressed interest in making a donation commitment in return for naming rights.
While financial contributions aren’t a requirement, the majority of recent naming opportunities have included some level of funding commitment.
In April 2008 the city renamed The Edge Skate Park after former Councilman Johnny Nocera after Nocera committed $5,000 a year for 20 years to help fund the park. The city has also accepted contributions when it came to naming Riley Park in Aqualane Shores, a $65,000 contribution, Arthur L. Allen Tennis Center, a $500,000 contribution, and Hedges Visitors Center at the Naples Preserve, a $40,000 contribution.
Those contributions, though, pale in comparison to what Councilwoman Dee Sulick would expect when it comes to naming a parking garage.
“When I think of naming parking garages, I’m thinking millions of dollars,” Sulick said. “I don’t think that’s where this is going.”
Council members agreed, saying they would have pursued donations in “a different economy.”
“I don’t think there’s much interest at this juncture in time,” said Councilman John Sorey.
Naming the garages is also “one of those things that’s much to do about nothing,” Sorey said, since residents generally refer to the garages as the one next to the theater or the one on Sixth Avenue South.
Council agreed and decided to hold off on naming the garages at this time.