Condo-Retail Approved

Aerial map of East Naples triangleThis development will be located on the East side of Tamiami Trail (41) across from the Golden Shores/Royal Harbor area.

Condo-retail towers proposed for Triangle in East Naples get zoning OK

One of the largest housing and shopping developments proposed in years for East Naples is on track for groundbreaking after Collier County commissioners approved zoning for it Tuesday.

The zoning change will allow developers Jerry Starkey and Fred Pezeshkan, of Real Estate Partners International, to build up to three towers, each as high as about 15 stories. The 5-acre site stretches between Davis Boulevard to the north and U.S. 41 East to the south in an area long known as the Gateway Triangle.

The area on Naples’ eastern limit has been one of the county’s top redevelopment priorities for years.

It would be next door to another high-rise development, but that proposed project, known as Trio, recently stalled. Trio was to bring a luxury high-rise condo-hotel where Davis meets U.S. 41. But Collier County land records show the developer, Trio Southern Holdings LLC, defaulted on a loan agreement. The deed was conveyed to the lender in lieu of foreclosure to satisfy the loan, according to land records.

The development commissioners voted unanimously to approve Tuesday will feature a mix of housing, hotel rooms, retail and entertainment. The zoning allows up to 377 residential units, 228 hotel rooms and a maximum of 200,000 square feet of space for various commercial uses, including restaurants, coffee shops, bars and a movie theater.

Exactly what kind of restaurants and shops and how many condos or hotel rooms are built will depend on the market, Starkey said.

“We mainly see it as entertainment-based,” he said. “Think restaurants and coffee shops. We’re talking to a cinema. We want a mixture of retail on the ground floors, and that will surround a parking garage. Then at the top will be offices, hotel rooms and residences.”

Starkey said he sees the site as a natural extension of Fifth Avenue South in Naples.

Higher-end developments, bringing more restaurants and pricier condos, have been spreading east along U.S. 41 from Fifth Avenue over the past decade. The site is about a mile from Cambier Park, and it would be a short walk over the Gordon River bridge to a new Hyatt House and Tin City along U.S. 41.

The county has been trying to redevelop it since the late 1990s and purchased the land in 2009 for $6.4 million.

When the county went to sell the property, it was worth $5.2 million, according to a county-funded appraisal completed in August 2016.

Starkey and Pezeshkan offered the $6.4 million during a competitive bidding process later that year, beating out two other developers.

The proposed buildings would be taller than allowed under county rules and by the nearby Naples Airport Authority. But after reviewing the proposal, the Federal Aviation Administration said the development posed no hazard to the airport as long as the buildings are no taller than 160 feet. Commissioners granted a height extension.

Commissioner Donna Fiala said she thinks the project will spark new investment along U.S. 41 and Davis Boulevard, an area that had long been home to several auto body shops, car rentals, moving companies and a nursery.

Many of the small businesses have moved, either selling to developers or moving when the county did not renew their leases.

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