Q: What is happening on Immokalee Road southeast of Collier Boulevard? Pine trees are being cut down and hauled away. What is going on there? The area is opposite The Quarry on Immokalee.
— Carol S. Woolf, Naples
Q: After passing Collier Boulevard and driving east, a lot of trees are being cut down on the south side before you get to The Quarry community on the left. Do you know what is going on in that area? Hoping for a shopping center and restaurant!
— Cheryl, Naples
A: Centerline Homes is clearing 138 acres along the south side of Immokalee Road for a residential community in Golden Gate Estates named Bent Creek Preserve.
Land clearing started in February, and construction will begin this fall on the development, zoned for up to 450 homes, said Jeff Auchter, vice president of marketing for Coral Springs-based Centerline Homes, a 20-year Florida developer making its first move into Southwest Florida.
“We are very excited to be coming into Naples,” Auchter said.
The exact number of homes built is still to be determined, Auchter said, but Centerline is planning two series of single-family houses with four or five models in each series.
“We are still working through plans and floor plans,” he said. “Naples has some excellent Mediterranean-style communities, but we are going for a little more of a woodsy, Craftsman kind of look.”
At least 38 acres of the development will be a nature preserve.
“We are planning right now to have a great recreation package, which will include a clubhouse,” Auchter said.
The Bent Creek Preserve planned unit development is directly across Immokalee Road from The Quarry community and abuts the eastern edge of Pelican Nursery on the corner of Collier Boulevard. Its southeastern and southern edges border the Tuscany Cove community and Crystal Lake RV Resort, both located off Collier Boulevard. Its eastern edge wraps around undeveloped private property on Immokalee Road and then runs a considerable distance down Woodcrest Drive.
Bent Creek’s perimeter along Immokalee Road is staked out with construction barrier, and flatbed trailers stacked with tree trunks can be seen from the road. Centerline Homes has a 90-day blasting permit for lake utility excavation, Collier County records show.
Centerline purchased the property at a foreclosure auction at the county courthouse in November 2011. The property, then known as Summit Lakes PUD, went to auction after developer Waterways Joint Venture IV LLC defaulted on a note and mortgage loans of about $12.8 million, the Naples Daily News reported.
Valewood Drive Extension
Q: I was wondering if you had any idea what they are clearing the land for next to First Congregational Church on Immokalee Road? It looks too big to be parking. It would be the Immokalee Road and Valewood Drive intersection. Just curious!
— Kitty, Naples
A: About 3 acres were recently cleared at that North Naples area south of Immokalee Road for a county project to extend Valewood Drive south to connect with Autumn Oaks Lane, which runs parallel to Immokalee Road.
This project is designed to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion in that area. In an effort to provide better spacing of traffic signals on Immokalee Road, the signal at Oakes Boulevard was removed several years ago in anticipation of a traffic light just to its west at Valewood Drive.
“It will help folks get out of the side streets there,” said Connie Deane, a county spokeswoman.
Work includes road improvements on a section of Autumn Oaks Lane as well as a stormwater retention pond that will cover the majority of the cleared acreage and extend from Immokalee Road to Autumn Oaks on the west side of Valewood Drive Extension, Deane said.
“Anytime they add impervious surface like a roadway, they have to handle the stormwater,” she said. “So, there’s a stormwater retention pond associated with the construction.”
The project will be completed in late summer or early fall. Deane said the county awarded the $1.1 million contract in December to Bonness Inc., a Naples-based paving and sitework contractor.
The project is being funded by the county’s share of gasoline taxes, Deane said. The local gas tax portion in Collier County is 12 cents per gallon, according to the county’s Office of Management and Budget.
Land clearing next to Walmart
Speaking of land clearing south of Immokalee Road, I still get questions about what's happening next to Walmart off Juliet Boulevard as work there is quickly progressing. Chase Bank will be built on that busy corner soon in what will become Gaspar Station.
Have a local question? Email it with your name and city of residence to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"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.