Park Shore Drive
NAPLES — He built the neighborhood when others questioned him.
And now Naples City Council is hoping to honor that decision — and Ray Lutgert’s legacy — by renaming Park Shore Drive in his honor.
Naples City Council on Monday authorized city staff to look into changing the name of Park Shore Drive to Lutgert Drive.
Lutgert died May 28. He was 90 years old.
“I just thought it would be an honor to him,” said Councilman John Sorey, who recommended the change.
David Feight, the president of the Park Shore Association, said Sorey recently approached him about the possible name change. Fieght said he brought the request to his board, who said it was an interesting idea but did not rule on the request.
“The board is looking at ways to honor Mr. Lutgert for all the contributions he made not only to Naples but to Park Shore,” Feight said. “Clearly we want to do something that recognizes the contributions Mr. Lutgert made.”
Lutgert purchased 760 acres of barren land north of Naples in 1965. That property would later be developed into Park Shore, a beach front community featuring single family homes, high-rises and a waterfront shopping center, Village on Venetian Bay.
Park Shore is touted as the first planned unit development in Florida, and became a model for other developments.
While the neighborhood would eventually be a model for other communities, John R. Wood said in a May 29 Naples Daily News report that he remembers questioning Lutgert about his decision to develop Park Shore because it seemed “a little far out.”
Howard Gutman, president of Lutgert Cos., said he heard the city was considering a name change and said he thought the family “would be honored” with the designation.
“The Park Shore beach is very special to him and the company,” Gutman said. “It will be a great honor and tribute to him.”
But don’t expect street signs to start changing any time soon.
The city would need clearance from several agencies — specifically the county, emergency services, the U.S. Postal Service and the property appraiser’s office — before the project can move forward.
It would also need to notify all property owners 30 days before a name change could occur.
City Council can then approve the name change once all of the appropriate agencies clear the request.
Sorey said he hoped council would be able to vote on the issue when it returns from summer break in August.
Connect with Naples reporter Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster at www.naplesnews.com/staff/jenna-buzzacco