Towne Centre on U.S. 41 East is really looking up. New façade on the buildings on the east end of the shopping center, new decorative additions and updated paint colors, the parking lot has a new layer of asphalt, all new trees and bushes, and cars are flocking in from everywhere!
The restaurants are busier than I’ve seen them in a long time. Let’s hope this new fresh look will also draw some new fresh businesses like a JoAnn Fabric, a bookstore, maybe a Dairy Queen or even a steak house. The owner of this section (there are 8 owners involved with this shopping center) has shown the community that he really cares about his investment and the people who lease and shop there.
• Kevin Lilly brought to my attention (per his wife Yolanda) that my last column didn’t actually go far enough in explaining the primary election, so let me clear that up. As I mentioned, Florida is a closed primary state, meaning if two or more people in the same party are running for election and a candidate (or more than one) from another party also submits papers to run in the same race, then that action closes the primary and only the party that has two or more candidates running in the primary can vote. But, however, if two or more candidates from the same party file to run and no other person from another party files to run, the primary stays open and all political parties can vote in the primary. That is if no one else files to run before noon on June 8. Hopefully I’ve cleared that up, and thanks Yolanda.
• Remember the old Tipsy Seagull on Bayshore Drive? What a great place that was, right? Sitting near the water sipping your — eh — soft drink and watching the boats go by. Well, after a completely new facelift, parking lot, landscaping, painting and name, the new place has opened as 360 Market. They will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., 7 days a week! The Bayshore Community Redevelopment Agency has supported them and helped them throughout the entire process, as they are doing with a few other businesses that are planning to open or reopen soon in that East Naples area. We’re comin’ alive folks! I noticed on the photos they offer deli sandwiches made to order, a carving station featuring “house roasted” pork loin, turkey breast and beef tenderloin. I’ll get by there soon and tell you more about the food and atmosphere.
• Many people have asked me what is being built along County Road 951 (Collier Boulevard) across from the Physicians Regional hospital. The Collier County Growth Management Division reported back that a site development plan application is for a proposed project that will consist of the construction of a 13,999-square-foot two-story medical office building with parking and associated infrastructure. So there you have it.
• Quite a few years ago an organization called the “Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed” was started. Its purpose was to protect our future water sources. There is an executive board and a board of trustees who oversee this very noble cause, plus an outstanding executive director named Brenda Brooks and her dedicated staff member Deb Hanson. They have carefully and steadily bought up land to protect it from development and preserve our future water sources.
One way to help them is to attend the organization’s annual concert in the park on Saturday, March 24, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Bonita Springs’ Riverside Park, 27300 Old 41 Road. This year’s theme is “A Musical Night with Nature” featuring musicians from three different genres: jazz, bluegrass and folk. These include the Katalyst Project with Kat Epple, DL Turner, Darrell Nutt & David Johnson, the Wholetones with Alex Dorris, Taylor Freydberg, Russ Depa and Mayo Coates, and the wonderful Wendy Webb.
Bring your own lawn chairs. Food, beer and wine will be available for purchase. No pets allowed. A silent auction will be held during the concert. Tickets are $20 each (children 12 and under free). You can pay at the door. And yes, I am proud to say I serve on their board, as does Ray Judah.