Improvements are coming to the Marco Town Center after the Marco Island City Council unanimously approved a site development plan amendment.

The plaza, which is about 50 years old, has never been completely renovated. Some renovations did occur more than 20 years ago when the Publix Super Market increased its store size, but the plans approved Monday evening are expected to help serve the community for at least another 20 years in the future.

The plan includes improvements to provide “a more vibrant and fresh landscape look” and the following:

  • Installing Royal palms along North Collier Blvd. to provide elegant look along the front entry
  • Enhancing the existing pedestrian plaza area to help create more interesting spaces for social gathering opportunities.
  • Amending existing landscape to be compliant with the Marco Island landscape code.
  • Adding more islands to allow the ability to install more canopy trees to help provide shade to the parking lot, and additional landscape screening.
  • Enhancing entryways to provide a more attractive landscape.
  • Bringing stormwater drainage into compliance with the minimum Southwest Florida Water Management District requirements.

Bob Mulhere, vice president of Hole Montes, said he had to go before the planning board twice after it was not satisfied with the original plans.

In addition to having to meet tree counts, the project also had to increase the number of permeable pavers after new requirements were passed during the process.

After Councilor Victor Rios questioned whether Brixmor Property Management was being held to easier standards than others, Planning Board Chairperson Erik Brechnitz said it was the opposite.

“These people were not treated equally,” Brechnitz said. “We were much more tough on Brixmor and this developer than the Island Plaza ever had. We forced them to do lots of things that were not in their original drawings.”

Marco Island city staff had recommended approval of the plans and its compliance with the comprehensive plan’s goal to “enhance Marco Island’s quality of life, environmental quality and tropical small town resort character.”

In approving the site development plan amendment, members of the City Council lauded Brixmor for its plans after criticizing the condition of the plaza not long ago.

“Awhile back, Brixmor came to this island and stood at that podium – I don’t know if it was you but a Brixmor representative– and got beat up pretty badly for the condition of this plaza,” Reed said. “At the time when I sat in the meeting, I wasn’t up here but I thought ‘Wow, I don’t know if these guys are going to come back.’ You came back, thank you, and this is beautiful.”


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