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The replanting of trees is under way as planned at Riverchase Plaza in North Naples.
As an update to the July 2 column regarding the sudden removal of the shopping center's trees in late June, specific information about the developer's plan for the local treescape is available. Daily progress can be seen on landscaping work that began early last week in the shopping center's parking lots along both U.S. 41 North and Immokalee Road.
In April, Kite Realty Group, owner of Riverchase Plaza, applied to Collier County for "an insubstantial change to its site development plan." Existing trees, some 20-year-old live oaks and palm trees, were removed and 130 new trees are expected to be erected, the county reports.
"The owner of the Riverchase Shopping Center followed county guidelines and requirements in making landscape changes on the property," according to a news release from the Collier County Growth Management Division.
The county-approved plans, as well as recent plantings, show two rows of royal palms evenly spaced on the narrow islands separating parking rows directly in front of the Publix supermarket anchoring that shopping center. Native bald cypress trees are being planted in the two rows adjacent to the parallel rows of palms.
East Palatka holly, a small ornamental, is being planted on endcap islands in front of Publix. Other endcaps to parking space islands will have slash pines, coco plums, bald cypress trees and Veitchia or Montgomery palms.
Slash pines will line the shopping center along Immokalee Road. Bald cypress and slash pines will line the center's U.S. 41 perimeter. Some of the existing mature oaks around the Bank of America outparcel on that corner remained.
The Riverchase plan's new tree count lists 51 bald cypress trees, 45 slash pines, 16 East Palatka hollies, 15 royal palms and three Montgomery palms. More than 1,500 one-gallon containers of Keys-native golden creeper groundcover will be planted, as well as nearly 1,000 three-gallon containers of Fakahatchee grass and more than 700 three-gallon containers of coco plums.
Other shrubs and groundcover being planted include wax jasmine, Florida lantana, purple lantana and purple showers.
Information on landscape requirements for all developments can be found on the county's website, colliergov.net.
Q: Will there ever be a Nordstrom's Rack in Southwest Florida? Miromar would be the ideal location!
— Monika, Naples
A: An interactive feature for future store openings on the company's website shows no new Nordstrom Rack stores planned for Florida through 2014, and the company confirms that Southwest Florida is not on its immediate expansion list.
"At this time, we don't have any plans to open a new Nordstrom Rack in that location, but if that changes, we'll be sure to let the community and our customers there know," said Kendall Ault, a Nordstrom spokeswoman.
"We're always looking for ways that we can better serve our customers, and we're fortunate to have a lot of customers in Florida and in the Fort Myers region."
Florida has only seven of the more than 100 Nordstrom Rack stores, with the nearest to Naples being in The Oasis at Sawgrass Mills mall in Sunrise – a straight, 100-mile trip across Alligator Alley. The Tampa store is the only location on the Gulf Coast, and the other Florida stores are in Orlando, Miami, Boca Raton, Aventura and Kendall. Nordstrom Inc. also has nine traditional Nordstrom stores in Florida, including one in Waterside Shops in Naples.
You are right about Miromar Outlets in Estero being the ideal location for Nordstrom Rack, which markets itself as a retail outlet for designer merchandise 30 to 70 percent off regular Nordstrom store prices.
Christmas Tree Shops
Q: I enjoy your column and look forward to learning about new businesses coming and going in the Naples area. I have had a question I have wanted to ask for a long time. Hailing from Massachusetts, we have a store called the Christmas Tree Shops. It is a wonderful place to shop for many different items, especially holiday and seasonal decorations. I have heard they finally opened a location in Florida, but it is four hours away, deep into Orlando. Could you find out if they have any plans of opening another location closer to Southwest Florida? With this store and at least one more Macy's (why didn't they open another store in Coconut Point or Gulf Coast Town Center?), perhaps I could lessen my occasional weekend shopping trips to Massachusetts.
— Carol, Naples
A: While the national chain lacks immediate plans to locate a new store here, a company spokeswoman won't dash your hopes.
"As we continue to expand over the next few years, it is possible that we could make it to that area," said Marylou Costa in an email from the Christmas Tree Shops in Middleboro, Mass. "As new store information becomes available, it will be posted to our website."
Despite its name, Christmas Tree Shops offers more than Christmas items. The cover of last week's circular featured beach towels, pool toys and Popsicle molds. Christmas was not celebrated anywhere inside the eight-page flier promoting bargain prices for snacks, insect repellent and a lot of home décor and housewares that you might find in Bed Bath & Beyond.
In fact, in 2003, the Bed Bath & Beyond chain purchased the Christmas Tree Shops company, which was founded on Cape Cod in 1970 and now has more than 70 locations in 22 states. The nearest store and the only Florida location is about 200 miles away in Altamonte Springs, north of Orlando.
"If you would like to receive email notifications and online posting of our fliers, new store openings, and all of the latest information about Christmas Tree Shops, you may sign up on our website (christmastreeshops.com)," Costa notes.
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"In the Know" is published Mondays and Wednesdays in the Naples Daily News. Find a complete archive of "In the Know" columns at naplesnews.com/intheknow.