In the Know: Sad news on a new Popeyes, home sales update and signs, signs, everywhere a sign
Observant reader Fritz Metts was in the holiday spirit when he reached out to me the other day.
"Still no 'creatures stirring' even this time of the year at the proposed site of Popeyes, south of Bonita Beach Road. Any word at all about this "fowl establishment.'"
Wait a minute, Fritz. Foolishness is my game.
Well, OK. You can play, too.
Got another one?
"Can't wait to stand in line and 'duke it out,'" he said, noting some of the challenges customers have faced in trying to buy one of those new chicken sandwiches.
All right, Fritz.
Only two silly comments per customer please. Void where prohibited by law.
Now back to your question, and a similar one offered by reader Dennis DeMichele.
Among the most read stories on naplesnews.com in 2019 was the August opening of Popeyes on Collier Blvd., where the lines continue at the Naples area's first location.
These gents and many of you want one closer to your homes.
Indeed, a Popeyes is slated south of Bonita Beach Road at 28186 Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41), 358 feet from a Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Something's fowl about doing that to the Colonel. Yes, you may squawk at that terrible poultry pun.
But thanks to the Royal Family of Belle Glade, you're going to be in more of a foul mood if you're a bird fan hoping it would open sooner.
"While we were originally slated for first quarter of 2020, that looks like it might not be the case," said Eric Royal, vice-president of real estate for Royal Family Businesses, owners of 10 Popeyes spots.
"I wish we were further along," he said.
So does Fritz.
But come on, we're used to that in the Collier County area. Now entering into evidence, Exhibit A: Oakes.
The new date's not certain on the Popeyes as the Royals work through "the approval/permitting phase, which has taken longer than expected," he said.
Royal said his company doesn't have any other locations planned in the state.
We also reached out to Kanchana Alix, who's with the outfit operating the Naples location, but she had no new news on any other site in Southwest Florida.
Kanchana spent her December launching the nation's southernmost Popeyes in Key West.
A road trip for Fritz!
'Su casa' could become someone else's casa
Whopping more sales contracts and a lot fewer homes on the market.
That reflects the newest numbers from the Naples Area Board of Realtors.
"Now is a great time to put your home on the market," said Managing Broker Brenda Fioretti of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty
OK. I know.
When have you heard a Realtor not say that? But you can't blame them for trying, considering the latest stats.
Overall pending sales in November were up 27% over last year. The month had 1,006 homes under contract.
That helped deplete the inventory of what's available by 19.4% as compared to November 2018. Buyers now have their choice of more than 5,500 places, split almost evenly between houses and condos, to wander through before writing a big check. Last year at this time, nearly 7,000 were available.
South Florida resident Dion Francis DiMucci, better known as singer Dion, would have to be pleased with all the wanderers and roaming around, around and around from home to home to home in November, which saw a 46% increase in showings over last year.
Even if your name is not Sue, it's hard to run around the median price, up by just under 1%, at $332,500. A single-family pad is really going to cost you. The median is $425,000 while condos are sitting at $260,000.
The big ticket dwellings played a role. Median closed prices in the $2 million and above price group increased 4.6% while the under $300,000 market decreased 5%.
It's the more affordable category that saw a 35.4% decline in inventory as well.
Other factors are in play with the inventory reduction, which isn't just from the resale market.
"Many big, new home developments are now complete and just about sold out so there is less new product available, thus contributing to some of the decrease in overall home inventory," said West Coast Manager Adam Vellano of BEX Realty – Florida and now vice-president and secretary of NABOR.
The average days homes are on the market dropped to 91 as compared to 94 the previous year.
Still, they're not all selling in three months.
"Forty percent of the current inventory has been on the market for over 150 days, and 20% has been on the market for over 300 days," Vellano said.
Much of this entails two types of inventory: teardowns and those requiring major renovations, said Coco Amar, a managing broker at John R. Wood Properties.
"These sellers will need to reduce prices further if they want to attract buyers," Amar said.
Price reductions occurred on 28% of the homes, a signal that a bargain – by Collier's standards, anyway – could be out there. Plus, interest remains low at banks.
"Good rates and good deals from lenders right now should help more buyers purchase homes," said Lauren Melo, broker with Florida's Realty Specialists, who was installed with Vellano as NABOR's president on Dec. 7.
Joining Melo and Vellano as officers for 2020: Corey McCloskey, president-elect and; Nicholas Bobzien, treasurer.
Talented soloist Sarah O'Brien sang at the installation, but no Dion, who's been in the news the last couple of weeks or so with a remake of "The Wanderer" by The Cold Blooded Hearts and Joey McIntyre of New Kids on the Block fame and now Broadway has chosen to play him in his new musical.
Lost in Naples after escaping Chicago
North Naples resident Bill Keating describes himself as "a guy who escaped Chicago" about eight years ago. But even after that time here, he said it's difficult to find businesses because of "terrible signage."
With some shopping centers, for example, “there are no addresses, no signage, no street numbers,” Keating said.
For the most part, county laws call for business address numbers on signs, often the pole, ground or directory variety, to be a minimum of 8 inches in height, said Connie Deane, community liaison at the Collier growth management department.
Laws also address making sure the markers are not covered by landscaping or other impediments.
To file a complaint, residents can call (239) 252-2440 or to do so online, Google the words, report a Collier code violation, to find the government link.
Two more sign-related topics that have come up:
► Collier County Traffic Operations Chief Engineer Anthony Khawaja said when making signs for its maintained streets, the county tries to use the entire street name including the direction (north, south, east or west), if that is part of the street name.
► In some counties, street signs also sometimes come with the letter-designation showing the evacuation zone for a particular street. An "A" for example often means those residents are most likely to have to evacuate an area due to a flood threat. Collier currently isn't set up in that manner.
"The county’s evacuation zones are new and just implemented," Deane said. "There are currently a couple ways to find evacuation zone information; one way is to use the new 3-1-1 app and enter an address; and another way is to use the information on the website."
Naples Daily News Columnist Phil Fernandez (email@example.com) writes In the Know.