'Daily NewsMakers with Jeff Lytle' ... Mike Belmont and Bill Bullock of Minto Communities; Jennifer Edwards, Collier Supervisor of Elections;Don Paight, downtown Fort Myers redevelopment chief

Major development news and elections highlight this week’s “Naples Daily NewsMakers with Jeff Lytle,’’ which airs Sunday morning at 10 on ABC7.

Guests are: Mike Belmont and Bill Bullock of Minto Communities, which has acquired Sabal Bay in East Naples and projects in TwinEagles and Bonita Isles; Don Paight, downtown Fort Myers redevelopment chief who says restaurants and a hotel are lining up; and Jennifer Edwards, Collier Supervisor of Elections, who starts early voting Monday for the Aug. 14 primary.

Video highlights are at naplesnews.com/newsmakers.

Here are excerpts:

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NewsMakers: Mike Belmont and Bill Bullock

Minto Communities has acquired Sabal Bay.

Mike Belmont

Lytle: You guys really burst on to the scene in Southwest Florida. Now Minto Communities is a major force, almost just like that.

Belmont: It’s that we’re fortunate to have very strong financial credentials. Obviously we had the staying power to get through one of the most horrific housing crashes that we’ve seen.

And you know, we take a deliberate approach to our acquisitions and expansions throughout the state.

Lytle: At Sabal Bay we’re talking about 2,400 acres. This is going to be a big, big impact on East Naples.

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NewsMakers: Don Paight

Restaurants, hotel lining up in Fort Myers.

Don Paight

Lytle: My observation from afar as an amateur urban planner that downtown Naples has the advantage of being close to the beach.

Don Paight: Yes.

Lytle: But downtown Fort Myers has a larger urban mass. Lee County is bigger than Collier, more people. So is that what you’re depending on to compete with larger venues to the south, such as Coconut Point and Gulfcoast Town Center?

Paight: In fact we really don’t want to compete with them. We want to distinguish ourselves from the big national malls by having primarily local and regional restaurants and retail shops.

We want to compete in a different way and not to try to go head-to-head and bring in the national tenants like all the big malls have.

And we have a genuine historic district.

Lytle: You do, you really do.

Paight: Our downtown is a local and national historic district. Many of the buildings have been restored, and we’re encouraging residential and office uses to go in the upper floors and to keep the ground floor retail and dining.

So we are trying to distinguish ourselves and not necessary compete.

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NewsMakers: Jennifer Edwards

Early voting starts Monday for Aug. 14 ...

Jennifer Edwards

Lytle: It is amazing to me what information is available from the voting records ... Candidates can get a list from you of people who have a history of voting early and the candidates can send their literature out to them quickly.

Edwards: Early voting has changed the dynamics of campaigning.

Lytle: In our world, too.

Edwards: Yes, of course. We begin early voting tomorrow (Monday) and for two weeks in Collier County. So campaigns are busy now — sending out emails and putting up their signs and sending mailings.

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