Changes proposed for North Naples medical park off Goodlette-Frank Road

Naples Community Hospital's North Naples building is across from the project site. Tristan Spinski/Staff

Photo by TRISTAN SPINSKI // Buy this photo

Naples Community Hospital's North Naples building is across from the project site. Tristan Spinski/Staff

— Major landowner Barron Collier Cos wants to add more medical-related projects and possibly a hotel in the undeveloped areas of Creekside commerce park in North Naples.

Three additional proposed uses would allow for an assisted living facility, an intermediate care center and a hotel with up to 240 rooms, according to a zoning amendment submitted to Collier County's Growth Management Department for review.

Creekside is a 106-acre commerce park south of Immokalee Road on both sides of Goodlette-Frank Road; 26 acres in total remain undeveloped.

In addition, Barron Collier wants to expand the building height potential to 75 feet for what could be built on 22 acres in Creekside on the east of Goodlette-Frank Road. The current master plan restricts the building height to 50 feet. The remaining 4 acres are on the west side of Goodlette-Frank and north of Creekside Boulevard.

"Half of the uses on there may or may not happen," said Blake Gable, president of Barron Collier Cos., adding that the last update to Creekside's potential uses was about 12 years ago when it was first zoned. "Whatever we do, we are going to do it right. Whatever happens, the community will be proud."

Gable said adding the three uses is compatible to what's permitted now, which includes a range of commercial ventures, industrial and office space, and medical clinics.

As part of the requirements to master plan amendments, Barron Collier and its agent, Grady Minor and Associates, must host a neighborhood information meeting, which is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. tonight at the Hampton Inn, 2630 Northbrook Plaza Drive in North Naples.

The height change sought is similar to what's been allowed for the Naples Daily News building west of Creekside, which was allowed at 75 feet in height, and NCH North Naples on the north side of Immokalee Road, which has an allowable building height up to 100 feet, according to Nancy Gundlach, a planner with county government.

Barron Collier was required to send notices to nearby property owners of the neighborhood meeting and the county hasn't heard anything from anyone, she said.

"It's been completely silent," she said.

Creekside is surrounded by medical, manufacturing and industrial uses, including a county water plant complex.

The zoning changes would be needed for a long-term care hospital, Gable said.

He acknowledged this past spring that Barron Collier was in talks with one of two out-of-state companies that both were applying for a state license to build a long-term care hospital in Collier to serve patients with complex medical needs, such as ventilator support, when they will be hospitalized for 25 days or longer.

In June, the state Agency for Healthcare Administration rejected competitive applications from Kindred Healthcare, a for-profit company based in Louisville, Ky., and from Landmark Hospitals headquartered in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Neither company has resubmitted new applications to the state but Gable said the hospital operator that Barron Collier is in contact with is still interested. Again, he wouldn't disclose which one that his company has had talks with in the past or currently.

Officials at both Kindred and Landmark couldn't be reached Tuesday.

Another medical group, Arthrex, which makes orthopedic medical devices, is located in Creekside but doesn't have any business interest or involvement in Barron Collier's application to amend the existing zoning, said Lisa Gardiner, spokeswoman for Arthrex.

Ray Bellows, a county zoning manager, said the 22-acre parcel on the east side of Goodlette-Frank could be used for a hotel or assisted living center but there wouldn't be enough to do both.

"They may be trying to market it to different people," he said.

Barron Collier still has more paperwork to submit before county staff can finish its review, and once that is done the application goes to the Collier County Planning Commission, Gundlach said.

The earliest it could go to the planning board is November, and from there it can be scheduled two months later to be considered by the Collier County Commission. Approval by at least four of the five commissioners is required for rezonings, Bellow said.

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