Neville Williams, Naples
Idea for Naples?
I read with interest that the so-called Grand Central Station property at Goodlette-Frank Road and U.S. 41 East was going on the auction block.
What a great time for the city of Naples to buy it (float a bond, if necessary) and create the Naples Gateway Park!
With lush landscaping, paths, playgrounds and a leased cafe and outdoor food court (like Singapore) and space for art fairs, which could help pay for maintenance, it would be a glorious addition to the entire area.
A full-scale development there of any kind will make that corner and intersection a traffic nightmare since no road widening is possible.
Why should the entrance to Naples be choked with cars and trucks? And do we really need more restaurants, stores and condos so close to "downtown''?
I believe developer Jack Antaramian once suggested the area be turned into a park. I grew up near Cleveland, where 100 years ago the robber barons created the largest urban park system in the U.S., now known as Cuyahoga National Park. That was vision.
I lived in Telluride, Colorado, which saved it's iconic "valley floor" from rapacious developers who wanted to create another Vail, raising $50 million in private funds to do it — this in a town of 1,400 people.
Naples needs leaders with vision.