On the way to Stan’s Idle Hour Restaurant in Goodland the other day I saw my first bobcat. It ran across 92A, the road to Goodland off State Road 92, the east entrance road to Marco Island.
Any of you who know Stan or have even been to Stan’s know that he is patriotic to the core, loves our God, and will reach out to those who are in need, which he was doing last weekend to offer people a chance to donate to the young 22-year-old soldier in Walter Reed Hospital who will not come home with legs. I sometimes wonder how Stan can fit that huge heart of his into his body!
• In my last column I promised to tell you some fun news about something new coming to East Naples, and here it is: For a few years now, people have been wondering what is going to happen to the brand new shopping center built at the corner of U.S. 41 and Lakewood Boulevard, in front of Sugden Park.
Phil McCabe called me to tell me work will begin shortly with the first two businesses coming to the center, and talks are proceeding with a few others, as there seems to be lots of interest in this property. McCabe called this new beginning “depression recovery,” which is what we are beginning to see around Collier County as businesses upgrade their properties or move into standing facilities and improve them.
The first will be in the large facility facing U.S. 41 that was once to be Outback Steakhouse. It is a national chain named Boston’s, which is a restaurant and sports bar with a very nice menu featuring American food and gourmet pizza, to name a few. The price point will be that of Olive Garden. Construction will begin once the permitting has taken place.
On the other end of the center will be a national medical dialysis treatment facility. I will give you more information as I receive it.
• Jim Lackey wrote to inform me that survey and layout work has begun for Price Street to construct a left turn lane to access the rear entrance of Eagle Creek. Construction and is expected to be completed by the middle of September, when Lowe’s trucks will probably begin delivering inventory items. He asked to give much credit to Jay Ahmad, Julio Ordonez, Gene Calvert and Kevin Hendricks for their fine work in helping the community.
• Many people have asked for the status of the improvements to the intersection of U.S. 41 and County Road 951 (Collier Boulevard) under the developer’s contribution agreement. Marlene Messam of GMD TECM has provided the following information:
In July, the 30 percent design phase was completed. There were no modifications to the roadway footprint that was previously approved and adopted. Phase 1 is to initially build an “at grade” intersection that will allow for the future construction of an ultimate grade separated overpass bridging County Road 951 over U.S. 41. The interim project will address safety, deficient intersection alignment and will meet development concurrency. A traffic analysis and methodology for various alternatives is expected to be completed by the end of September. The public will be invited to a workshop on October 7 to provide comments and suggestions. In January, the project development and environment (PD&E) will begin to reevaluate the grade separated overpass, a formal process required by the Florida Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration for the approval of the preferred alternative. Another public workshop will take place in March 2011.
Construction for the “at grade” intersection Phase 1 improvements is scheduled to begin in fiscal 2013.
I hope your summer is progressing nicely and you are spending time with your family and friends before season begins to ramp up.