Demolition is already underway, and a downtown Naples redevelopment project is just two votes away from final approval.
Crews were out this week beginning demolition work on a one-story building at the corner of Fifth Avenue South and Park Street in downtown Naples.
Phil McCabe, owner of the Inn on Fifth, purchased the 35-year-old, one story building for $4.55 million in 2005. McCabe in February announced plans to tear down the building in order to build a three-story building in the same location.
The multimillion-dollar project will include more suites for the Inn on Fifth, located across the street.
The building will have about 11,000 square feet of commercial space, and McCabe told the Daily News he already found a national tenant — a JPMorgan Chase bank — as an anchor.
The bank operations is expected to take up about one-third of the first floor. McCabe has said he hopes to put professional offices on the second floor, while the third floor will be made up of 21 hotel suites.
Lise Sundrla, executive director of the Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District, said merchants and property owners on the street are excited about McCabe’s project.
“This is a great opportunity for the street,” Sundrla said. “Whenever you see bricks and mortar (projects) happening ... there’s excitement.”
Adam Benigni, a Naples city planner, said demolition is a good sign that McCabe plans to move the project along.
The project has been in the works for years, and City Council and the city’s design review board approved a similar project to redevelop the property a few years ago. That project didn’t come to fruition, and McCabe needed to get new approvals because of modifications to the plan, like new elevations and a drive-thru for the bank.
Both the city’s design review board and planning board approved the project earlier this summer.
Naples City Council is scheduled to discuss the project on August 17, and the city’s design board is expected to give the project final approval on Aug. 24.
McCabe has said he hopes the new building will be open by November 2012.