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Tim Aten Knows: New restaurants coming soon in North Naples

Many new restaurants are nearly ready to open in North Naples and more are still coming this year.  

A few places are checking off last-minute items before they launch, although they are opening later than initially anticipated. The new Shea’s Lansdowne Street plans to open within the next month in the former space of Newk’s Eatery at 6340 Naples Blvd.  

“We’re pretty close,” said Charlie Maurer, who co-owns Shea’s and its big brother, Lansdowne Street, in Bonita Springs with his wife, Teri. “The glass garage doors that I ordered 37 weeks ago have arrived. That’s the last missing piece.” 

The overhead doors on the venue’s northern and western sides will give the Boston-themed sports bar an open-air feel and connect it to an outdoor bar on a more than 2,200-square-foot patio. “We’re doing something a little different,” Mauer said. “We’re getting excited.”  

After a more than two-year hiatus, Shea’s is returning to the Naples market, where it operated for more than four years off Fifth Avenue South until closing in June 2020. The Maurers will recreate the atmosphere with 4,000 square feet of exposed brick walls as well as dark wood, brass, stained glass, chandeliers, a fireplace and sports memorabilia from New England teams.   

The menu and concept will be identical, Maurer said. “It’s just like Shea’s downtown and Lansdowne Bonita,” he said.  

Carole’s House Café & French Bakery also is close to opening its second location. The first launched Memorial Day weekend last year in St. Andrews Square in East Naples. The second will open soon in the Publix-anchored Pelican Strand shopping center, 5620 Strand Blvd., off Immokalee Road in North Naples.  

Co-owners and North Naples residents Carole Dahan and Christophe Mars say they are about 99% finished converting a former office space into their café. Only inspections set for next week stand in the way of its opening. Carole’s House creates authentic, fresh-baked French pastries, breads and desserts and serves a daily breakfast and lunch menu that includes sandwiches and salads. 

The 1942 Mexican Grill also plans to open soon but is still awaiting its liquor license, said owner Jose Reyes. “We don’t want to open without liquor because sometimes, you know, customers only give you one shot and we don’t like to take those kinds of risks,” Reyes said.  

The Mexican restaurant and bar will launch in Wiggins Pass Crossing, 13510 Tamiami Trail N., a retail center near the southeast corner of U.S. 41 and Wiggins Pass Road. The restaurant with indoor-outdoor bars is in a renovated end unit that over the years has been many bars and restaurants, including the Broken Watch, The Palate, Beach Tavern, IIWII Beach Bar & Grille and Mr. Jerry’s Tavern.  

Expect 1942 to provide a modern, upscale Mexican dining experience that includes street tacos and multiple flavors of Margaritas. The restaurant’s lamps and other décor were custom-made in Mexico, Reyes said.  

“Everything from our décor to our paint is unique,” he said. “Our menu is going to be different than the typical Mexican restaurant you see here. It’s going to be unique to Naples.”  

A strong buzz has proceeded some popular restaurant chains planning to open their first locations in Collier County. A couple of them are even filling spots vacated by other restaurant chains. 

Freestanding structures in North Naples that used to be home to Buca di Beppo Italian restaurant and the former Sweet Tomatoes buffet brand have been gutted for new venues. J. Alexander’s, an upscale dining concept, is bringing its first Southwest Florida location to the spot along Trail Boulevard where Buca di Beppo operated for more than 20 years.  

Completely renovating the 8,160-square-foot restaurant space at 8860 Tamiami Trail N., the Naples location will be the seventh in Florida for J. Alexander’s, a contemporary restaurant and full bar known for its wood-fired cuisine and attention to detail, consistency and quality since launching in 1991. J. Alexander’s menu features a wide selection of made-from-scratch American classics including prime rib, steaks, seafood, sandwiches and entrée salads.   

Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, building out the highly visible former space of Sweet Tomatoes on the southeast corner of U.S. 41 North and Immokalee Road, will join a string of Darden Restaurants – LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille and Seasons 52 – long established along U.S. 41 in North Naples, as well Darden brands Olive Garden and Yard House also already in Naples.  

A casual dining brand with a full bar, Cheddar’s has another regional location near Gulf Coast Town Center in Lee County. Its 7,000-square-foot outparcel in the Granada Shoppes will feature the growing chain’s comfort food with scratch menu favorites such as chicken pot pies, country fried steak and honey butter croissants. 

Construction crews are working to redevelop an old bank branch into Mission BBQ at 5795 Airport-Pulling Road, an outparcel lot between Culver’s and Chick-fil-A drive-thru restaurants. The patriotic barbecue chain is enclosing the drive-thru area of the former bank to create a larger 4,587-square-foot venue for a more than 120-seat restaurant with partially covered patio dining. The opening date is expected this spring.  

Next door, Chick-fil-A finally plans to open soon with an entirely new restaurant interior with two drive-thru lanes. The location has been temporarily closed since the end of July for the overdue remodeling project.  

A couple of restaurant ownership changes last year will materialize with new names atop North Naples restaurants this year. Expect Joe’s Diner on U.S. 41 and Noodles on Pine Ridge Road to complete changes that have already started.  

Ela Vivonetto, who has operated her local Sauce Lady business for many years, bought Joe’s Diner last fall on the other end of Naples Park Plaza, 9331 Tamiami Trail North. Already adding some of her homemade Italian sauces, soups, meatballs and pasta dishes to the 20-year-old Joe’s Diner, Vivonetto plans to eventually regroup after this season to renovate, add dinner service and change the restaurant’s name, which she said she hasn’t decided on yet. 

Giuseppe and the Lion will be the new name for the longtime Noodles Italian Cafe & Sushi Bar, which will continue to serve Italian cuisine and sushi in Mission Square at 1585 Pine Ridge Road. “I am still in transition mode. I have some more remodeling to do,” messaged Joseph Sutherland, who purchased the Noodles business with his father-in-law last fall from the Berman brothers. “The stage is almost done. Should be done by mid next week. The new signs are ordered. Still waiting on the install date. Once these things are done, I will have a grand opening party.”  

New ownership also will change the longtime original location of Pelican Larry’s Raw Bar & Grill at 1046 Pine Ridge Road into The Oasis this spring. “I’m planning on leaving it open as is for now for the next month and a half. Then, in March, I plan on closing down for maybe a week or five days to put the finishing touches on the place and then reopen as the fully rebranded Oasis,” said Naples resident Dan Latino, the new owner of the local bar and grill.  

Estia, an upscale Mediterranean and Greek restaurant, will transform the former space of Bokamper’s Sports Bar & Grill at 8990 Fontana Del Sol Way, fronting Vanderbilt Beach Road. The new restaurant will be the first in Florida for the Pashalis family, which operates a restaurant group that includes three Estia Greek-Mediterranean restaurants in the Philadelphia and South Jersey area. The fine-dining restaurant, designed to elevate traditional Greek fare beyond a casual affair, is targeted to launch this fall. 

Across the street, Butcher Private will quietly launch soon in the former Agave restaurant space. Originally announced as a steakhouse concept, Butcher will be a private, members-only business club. Veljko Pavicevic, who co-owns the upscale venue as well as Sails Restaurant in Naples with Corinne Ryan, said Butcher has 300 members — “the best of the best business Olympians” — and 3,000 on a waiting list.  

Nearby in the Galleria Shoppes at Vanderbilt, Imperio Taqueria soon will move into the unit vacated last year by Vampire Penguin Shaved Snow & Desserts. The full-service Mexican restaurant will be locally owned and operated by the Cruz family of Golden Gate Estates. Also, in Shoppes at Vanderbilt, Crave Cookies plans to open its first regional location later this year in a new building under construction fronting Airport-Pulling Road at the northeast corner of the shopping center.  

The first area location of Kelly’s Roast Beef recently began construction as a new outparcel next to Panera Bread in the Gateway Shoppes at North Bay on the northwest corner of U.S. 41 and Wiggins Pass Road. Known in the Boston area for its roast beef sandwiches and lobster rolls, Kelly’s also is targeted to open a drive-thru franchise this year at Founders Square along Immokalee Road just east of Collier Boulevard.  

After launching seven eateries there last year, Founders Square will continue to be a hot spot in 2023. In addition to Kelly’s Roast Beef, Lake Park Diner plans a freestanding restaurant there and Havana Libre Cuban Cuisine and 110 Grill will be part of The Plaza at Founders Square anchored by Sunshine Ace Hardware under construction now in the center of the development.  

Don’t be surprised to see a couple of new restaurants at Green Tree Center, too. Two new vacant restaurant spaces remain in the center on the southwest corner of Airport-Pulling and Immokalee roads.  

“We’re looking for a French restaurant with a bakery, a steakhouse, a bistro kind of restaurant or a Cuban restaurant. Those are the four types we’d like to put in here that we don’t have yet,” said Jack Crifasi of Crifasi Real Estate. “The center has been very successful since we renovated. We are getting a tremendous amount of compliments.”  

The “Tim Aten Knows” weekly column answers local questions from readers. Email Tim at Follow him on social media: @TimAtenKnows on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. 

Friday, December 16, 2022

 Let's Talk Hot Off the Press:

2023: 4.78M Existing Home Sales, Stable Prices


By Marla Martin

NAR Chief Economist Yun’s forecast represents a drop of about 6.8% from this year’s sales; he expects the median home price to rise just 0.3% from this year to $385.8K.

WASHINGTON – Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist and senior vice president of research for the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), forecasts that 4.78 million existing homes will be sold, prices will remain stable and Atlanta will be the top real estate market to watch in 2023 and beyond.

Yun unveiled the association's forecast during NAR's fourth annual year-end Real Estate Forecast Summit.

Yun predicts home sales will decline by 6.8% compared to 2022 (5.13 million) and the median home price will reach $385,800 – an increase of just 0.3% from this year ($384,500).

“Half of the country may experience small price gains, while the other half may see slight price declines,” Yun said. “However, markets in California may be the exception, with San Francisco, for example, likely to register price drops of 10–15%.”

Yun expects rent prices to rise 5% in 2023, following a 7% increase in 2022. He predicts foreclosure rates will remain at historically low levels in 2023, comprising less than 1% of all mortgages.

Yun forecasts U.S. GDP will grow by 1.3%, roughly half the typical historical pace of 2.5%. After eclipsing 7% in late 2022, he expects the 30-year fixed mortgage rate to settle at 5.7% as the Fed slows the pace of rate hikes to control inflation. Yun noted this is lower than the pre-pandemic historical rate of 8%.

Top 10 real estate markets to watch in 2023 and beyond

NAR identified 10 real estate markets that it expects to outperform other metro areas in 2023. In order, the markets are as follows:

  1. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Georgia
  2. Raleigh, North Carolina
  3. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas
  4. Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Arkansas-Missouri
  5. Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, South Carolina
  6. Charleston-North Charleston, South Carolina
  7. Huntsville, Alabama
  8. Jacksonville, Florida
  9. San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas
  10. Knoxville, Tennessee

“The demand for housing continues to outpace supply,” Yun said. “The economic conditions in place in the top 10 U.S. markets, all of which are located in the South, provide the support for home prices to climb by at least 5% in 2023.”

NAR selected the top 10 real estate markets to watch in 2023 based on how they compared to the national average on the following economic indicators: 1) better housing affordability; 2) greater numbers of renters who can afford to buy a median-priced home; 3) stronger job growth; 4) faster growth of information industry jobs; 5) higher shares of the information industry in the respective local GDPs; 6) migration gains; 7) shares of workers teleworking; 8) faster population growth; 9) faster growth of active housing inventory; and 10) smaller housing shortages.

For more info, see NAR’s, On the Horizon: Markets to Watch in 2023 and Beyondreport.

© 2022 Florida Realtors®

Thursday, November 17, 2022

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Stock Development rebrands One Naples as Ritz-Carlton Residences, Naples

Ritz-Carlton Residence at One Naples

The One Naples luxury condominium redevelopment project near Vanderbilt Beach has been rebranded as The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Naples. 

The branding collaboration for the Gulf Coast project in North Naples was announced Tuesday by local developer Stock Residences, the luxury condominium division of Naples-based Stock Development. The high-end project will feature a collection of 128 residences at Vanderbilt Beach Road and Gulf Shore Drive, across the street from The Ritz-Carlton, Naples beach resort. The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Naples, however, is not owned or being developed or sold by The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. or its affiliates. Stock Residences is using the trademarked name under a license from Ritz-Carlton.   

It’s the second Southwest Florida property announced this year for The Ritz-Carlton Residences. In March, London Bay development group revealed plans for The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Estero Bay — two 22-story towers of waterfront condominiums. Sales have begun for the first tower, which is scheduled to break ground by the end of this year with 112 luxury residences starting in the $2 millions.   

Stock’s redevelopment project on 6 acres in North Naples will feature a pair of 12-story buildings known as the Tower Residences, which will overlook the Gulf and Vanderbilt Lagoon. The project also includes two mid-rise buildings called the Bay Residences, an adjacent 22-slip, full-service marina and a fifth mid-rise building called the Park Residences, which will be adjacent to a private park on the footprint of the former DaRuMa Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Lounge.   

Construction for The Residences is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2023 with completion expected in the second quarter of 2025. Suffolk Construction is the general contractor with engineering spearheaded by J.R. Evans Engineering. The design team includes Tampa-based Curts Gaines Hall Jones Architects, interior designer Cristian Pinedo of Miami-based Susurrus, and St. Petersburg-based landscape architectural firm Booth Design Group.   Ritz-Carlton Residence at One Naples

“This condominium project will truly redefine luxury waterfront living in Southwest Florida,” said Brian Stock, CEO of Stock Development. “Buyers in the area cannot find this level of access to such an array of top-level amenities in a singular coastal setting. Here, everyday living will be punctuated by prime beach access with an inimitable connection to nature, a full-service marina, and a private park complete with the attention to detail and legendary service of The Ritz-Carlton.”   

Prices for the three-, four- and five-bedroom residences start at $2.5 million. The luxury homes will feature expansive terraces with glass railings and impact-resistant sliding glass doors as well as contemporary European-style kitchens and baths, Cambria quartz countertops, 10- to 12-foot ceilings, Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances, porcelain and wood floors and private elevator entrances.   

The Residences’ amenities and services also will include an exclusive concierge and The Vanderbilt Club, a 28,000-square-foot club with a Grand Owner’s atrium and lobby lounge, private restaurant, business center and coffee lounge, state-of-the-art fitness center and a full-service spa. Features will include a kids’ room, a teen room with a Formula 1 simulator, and a club lounge with a golf simulator and private theater.   

The Residences will include a marina with Gulf access, a dockmaster and gas service, and a lushly landscaped park with walking trails, a putting green, a dog-walking area and covered pavilions. The 22,000 square feet of outdoor amenities will include a resort-style pool, lap pool, cabana suites and fire pits. Additional amenities for Tower Residences will include rooftops with private dining and a lounge, while the Bay Residences buildings will have a waterfront promenade to the marina, a social terrace and a rooftop pool. Of course, The Residences will have prime access to the public Vanderbilt Beach across the street. Ritz-Carlton Residence at One Naples  

“The Naples, Florida, market, with its unspoiled white sandy beaches and tranquil surroundings, has always been of great significance to our brand,” said Sarah Khalifa, vice president of mixed-use development for Marriott International, which has majority ownership of The Ritz-Carlton brand. “We are committed to aligning ourselves with respected and reputable entities in the industry who are like-minded in their approach to each new endeavor — devoted to tradition, excellence, ingenuity and creating a legendary lifestyle. It was those natural synergies that led us to Stock Residences and the company’s vision for this project, which is poised to be a coastal haven.”   

As promised, the project will include a public spot for breakfast, lunch and maybe a place to purchase picnic supplies for beachgoers, said Claudine Leger-Wetzel, Stock’s vice president of sales and marketing. “There will be a public deli and cafe and William Raveis will have their real estate office on the Gulf Shore Drive side,” she said. “The cafe is about 1,600 square feet approximately and we’re still working through that.”  

Hurricane Ian delayed the announcement of the rebranding and project details, which were originally planned to be released a month ago, Leger-Wetzel said.  

“With the storm and everything going on, we are meeting with our general contractor in the next two weeks to get final pricing and we are going to release pricing for all the units in January,” she said. “For now, they are from $2.5 million

Contact me for more information regarding our newest development in Naples The Ritz-Carlton Residences...

Michelle J. DeNomme REALTOR, GRI BHHS Florida Realty

239.404.7787 or by e-mail  

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Tim Aten Knows: Restoration Hardware, Whole Foods proposed in downtown Naples...

Q: Heard that maybe a Restoration Hardware store/restaurant combination is going in where the St. George & the Dragon used to be. Know anything about that? Would be fabulous! — Barbara Riess, Naples 

Q: Is the rumor correct that a Whole Foods will open in East Naples? — Louise Bender, East Naples 

A: A new significant redevelopment involving Restoration Hardware, Whole Foods Market, restaurants and other retailers with luxury condominiums on its upper floors has been proposed for properties that include the former St. George & the Dragon restaurant site at Fifth Avenue South and 10th Street South as well as six other adjacent parcels encompassing nearly two blocks in downtown Naples. The mixed-use project’s architectural plans are scheduled to be preliminarily presented next Friday, Nov. 18, to the city’s Design Review Board. 

An Oct. 4 application filed with the city planning department shows that Naples architect Matthew Kragh of MHK Architecture & Planning is representing petitioner 5th Avenue South Holdings LP in redeveloping the vacant site of the former St. George and the Dragon restaurant at 936 Fifth Ave. S. and parcels totaling more than 4 acres at 1010, 1050 and 1074 Fifth Ave. S.; 590 11th St. S.; and 975 and 1041 Sixth Ave. S. Signs for the Nov. 18 public hearing in the Naples City Council chambers are posted at each of those lots and the city has posted supporting documents for the project on its government website. 

Aspen-based M Development bought the 4.27 acres of downtown Naples property for $43.5 million in a deal arranged and announced last fall by Franklin Street, a Tampa-based commercial real estate firm. M Development has transformed redevelopment opportunities in affluent communities such as Aspen, Palm Beach and Atlanta’s Buckhead, Franklin Street notes. The Naples proposal includes three-story mixed-use buildings totaling more than 500,000 square feet. 

Andy Penev, head of development for M Development LLC, said this week that the company wants to present its proposal to Naples City Council and fine-tune the plans before too many details are published. “We’re super excited about it and we’ve done a lot of really cool work and really brought in some elite partners and tenants,” Penev said.

Early plans show that a more than 50,000-square-foot, three-story Restoration Hardware store is planned to anchor a pair of two new buildings totaling 290,868 square feet proposed for the 1000 block of Fifth Avenue South. RH, known as the California-based home-furnishings company, operates upscale showrooms it calls galleries, promoted as blurring the line between residential and retail, indoors and outdoors, home and hospitality. A rooftop restaurant and terrace are proposed for the third floor of the gallery, a feature atop many RH locations, including Florida galleries in Jacksonville, Tampa and West Palm Beach. 

Preliminary plans show RH Naples with 19,832 square feet on each of its first and second floors with 11,248 square feet on the third floor bracketed by a large terrace. A larger L-shaped, mixed-use building rounds out the block with 33 condominium units proposed on two floors above retail and restaurant spaces. This block of buildings would have 286 below-grade parking spaces beneath it. 

Restoration Hardware has considered entering the Naples market for years. The company previously looked at the large, two-story Nordstrom store vacated in Waterside Shops and the former Orchard Supply Hardware location where Walter E. Smithe Furniture & Design is creating its first showroom outside of the Midwest. 

Plans for the RH rooftop restaurant come just weeks after the Design Review Board was presented the initial plans for the city’s first rooftop restaurant less than two blocks west on Fifth Avenue South. Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, which operates Ocean Prime and Del Mar on Fifth, proposes building Prime Social rooftop restaurant to bridge adjacent buildings in the 800 block of Fifth. 

In addition to a restaurant atop Restoration Hardware, M Development’s project is expected to provide additional new dining spots downtown. “We’re in talks with a couple of others but nothing inked yet,” Penev said. “That’s kind of what we’re working through so we’re not entirely sure just yet. We’re weighing all of our options.”

At more than 40,000 square feet on the ground floor of the 900-block building, Whole Foods Market is proposed to anchor the new development fronting Fifth Avenue South. While not in East Naples, the new store will be nearer that market than the chain’s first area store in North Naples. The second location in Collier County for the Austin-based grocer will be smaller than the Amazon subsidiary’s 52,000-square-foot store that opened 14 years ago to anchor Mercato. 

The proposed 219,320-square-foot grocery store building, a three-story structure with 22 multifamily condominium units planned on its two upper floors, will feature other retail opportunities, 22 parking spaces on the ground floor for the residential units as well as 198 below-grade parking spaces, preliminary plans show. 

M Development believes the project will be beneficial for Naples, of course. “The uses I think are very ideal for what Naples wants and what Naples needs,” Penev said. “What we’re planning and what Restoration Hardware is planning is so beautiful. I know it may be biased coming from me, but it really is just beautiful architecture and planning and open space and landscaping. So, I think everybody will be very happy with what we’ve kind of drawn up here.” 

In the development application filed with the city, the architect notes that the project complements downtown Naples, provides several open-air amenity areas and neatly engages with the street. “The building enhances the existing streetscape along Fifth Avenue South and 10th Street and adds to the local community along Fifth Avenue South. The design of the building is indicative of modern Naples style with elements that resemble the surrounding community throughout Naples, addresses the resident and maintains a common landscaped environment.”

Whole Foods is proposed on the former footprint of St. George & the Dragon restaurant. This historic dining destination closed 10 years ago after operating for more than 40 years by the Ginos family. The old-school steakhouse was sold and demolished years ago for other redevelopment projects that didn’t get off the ground. Three other buildings on the south side of the 900 and 1000 blocks of Fifth Avenue South face a wrecking ball to create additional open space for the latest redevelopment plan. 

At least two existing three-story office buildings will be razed to create more project space. Florida Gulf Coast University has leased space in one of the buildings at 1010 Fifth Ave. S., across U.S. 41 from the historic Naples Depot Museum. The building at 975 Sixth Ave. S. was formerly home to MHK Architecture and the offices of many other local businesses. A third smaller building at 590 11th St. S. has served as a Real Estate Information Center and a former bank across from Mino restaurant and the Shoppes at Dockside. 

The redevelopment project proposes to prominently extend the historically upscale presence of Fifth Avenue South east of Four Corners. 

“From our perspective, it’s going to be a beautiful mixed-use project. Very elite tenants. Very elite designers. We’re actually focusing a lot on open space and creating a beautiful transition from Fifth kind of into the rest of Tin City and, quite frankly, south Naples,” said Penev, noting that M Development plans a project of significant scale. 

“We want to make sure everything and everybody complements each other so not only within our development but within the immediate vicinity in greater Naples and Fifth Ave and downtown,” he said. “It behooves us to look at it that way both for ourselves and for everybody else because at the end of the day if you make something that is complementary to itself and its surroundings, it will be a success. The last thing you want to do is create tension and we’re not in the business of doing that.” 

M Development is in the business of building “forever real estate,” which means it builds with quality, Penev said. “We’d rather spend a couple of extra dollars and build something that both the city and ourselves would be proud of forever, so our kids and our kids’ kids would be proud of.” 

“Tim Aten Knows,” a column answering local questions from readers, is published every Friday at Follow Tim Aten on social media: @TimAtenKnows on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.