3 To Know: Town Center redo; Gopher Tortoise Day

Marco Eagle

1. Planning Board approves Marco Town Center redesign

The Marco Island Planning Board approved Marco Town Center's site improvement plan Friday morning.

Brixmor Property Group, the owner of Marco Town Center, plans on renovating the site to increase parking, add trees and other landscape elements, and enhance pedestrian and vehicular flow.

The board members first discussed the project at their March 2 meeting and had some concerns, including the proposed percentage of impervious surface. The applicant made some changes to the project and the board unanimously approved it.

The project will appear before the City Council at a future meeting. Planning Board's next meeting is 9 a.m., Friday, April 20.

A rendering of the proposed Marco Town Center renovation project. The Marco Island Planning Board approves the project at its meeting Friday, April 6, 2018.

2. JW Marriott announces wellbeing retreat with Nora Tobin

JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort will host celebrity trainer, lifestyle coach and nutrition specialist, Nora Tobin, as part of the exclusive Peak by JW wellness retreat series taking place April 12-15.

Guests will enjoy the property’s tranquil gulf-front location while they are immersed in the ultimate well-being escape which includes four days of inspiring workshops, expertly crafted workouts and nutritious cuisine.

Tobin was named JW Marriott’s Wellness Ambassador in December of 2017. Together, they designed a series of experiences from on-property, guided fitness videos to immersive retreats and customized culinary programing for guests seeking the ultimate luxury wellness experience.

Participation at the Marco Island property is limited to 12 guests who will receive a precisely curated itinerary.

The JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort is one of five properties to participate in the brand pilot program as it puts the final touches on its multi-phase, $320 Million renovation project that began in 2015.

3. Tuesday is Gopher Tortoise Day on Marco Island

“Be it Resolved, that the City Council of the City of Marco Island, Florida, does hereby proclaim April 10, 2018 as Gopher Tortoise Day,” Jared Grifoni, City Council chair read the proclamation at the April 2 council meeting.

This proclamation is also an affirmation of the City’s commitment to the protection of its threatened wildlife. At the meeting, the councilors voted 7-0 to update its ordinance on protected species (signed in 2001) which includes protection for the gopher tortoises, burrowing owls and sea turtles.

Gopher tortoise (gopherus polyphemus) has been living on the earth for 500,000 to two-million years and are the oldest residents of Marco Island.


Gopher tortoise (gopherus polyphemus) has been living on the earth for 500,000 to two-million years and are the oldest residents of Marco Island. It is listed as a state threatened species due to many factors – such as habitat loss; death from vehicular strikes; poaching and use of pesticides. 

How can you help? Download FWC’s gopher tortoise smartphone app through myfwc.com. You can take a picture and record locations with its GPS coordinates. This will help FWC better manage their population. – Maria Lamb/Special to the Eagle