The metropolis of Naples continues its plans for luxury apartments in the Bayshore district

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More luxury apartments may soon be heading to Collier County in what’s called the mini-triangle of the Bayshore Gateway Community Redevelopment Area, or CRA, at the corner of Davis Boulevard and Tamiami Trial East.

The county’s planning commission voted 6-0 in favor of a request from developers in Metropolitan Naples to increase the number of multi-family units allowed to accommodate apartments, with a minimum commercial square footage of 45,000. Metropolitan Naples must submit its rezoning application to the Collier County Commissioners.

The entire slice of land, a 5.35-acre parcel just east of downtown Naples, has been seen since 2018 as a catalyst to drive growth in the Bayshore region. The county has approved dividing the area into three lots, with two of the three lots already under construction. The first batch is expected to consist of 270 multi-family luxury apartments, while the second batch is a small 0.7 acre space that will house the Aura, a 15-story luxury condominium. Plans for the third plot are what Metropolitan Naples, led by developers Jerry Starkey and Fred Pezeshkan, presented to the Planning Commission this week.

Zoning of the third piece of the triangle allows for 377 housing units and 200,000 square feet of commercial space. Originally, Metropolitan Naples shared plans for a hotel with a movie theater for the 1.7-acre lot.

However, due to market changes caused by The Ellington hotel rooms and the CMX CineBistro in the Coastland Center shopping mall, Starkey and Pezeshkan are now leaning towards developing another luxury apartment building.

The Ellington will be a mixed-use hotel and luxury condominium development at the tip of the mini-triangle and will not be owned by Starkey and Pezeshkan. With plans to open in early 2023, Metropolitan Naples did not see fit to add another hotel to this corner.

Planning Commission member Robert Klucik Jr. disagreed with the mindset of avoiding the development of another hotel. “It just seems strange that because there is a hotel, there is no other hotel. I find it seems to be the exact opposite,” Klucik said.

New zoning requested by Starkey and Pezeshkan still allows for a hotel in case plans change. However, to accommodate a potential apartment building, they would like to re-zoning to allow for an additional 114 multi-family residential units for a total of 491 while changing the minimum commercial area required from 67,000 to 40,000 square feet.

Planning Commission Chairman Edwin Fryer said he would like the minimum retail space to be 45,000 square feet.

“Since this part of the East Trail really changes names to Fifth Avenue South as you head west, it’ll have all the cachet,” Fryer said. “It seemed to me that in order to meet the expectations of the board and the expectations in question being the catalyst for Gateway and the sense of place and the other language that was put into it, that a little more business would be highly desirable for Collier County.”

Metropolitan Naples officials said they were open to increasing their minimum retail square footage from 40,000 to 45,000, with 15,000 square feet of office space required. With a maximum commercial space of 130,000 square feet, a decrease from the current 200,000, some potential uses listed in the application, besides retail and restaurants, include a yoga studio or car dealership.

The zoning plan also allows for the potential of a 150-unit assisted living facility. While that use is unlikely, Starkey wants the zoning to stay in place in the event of an unprecedented market shift.

“As you all know, the zoning remains in place for a long time, and our goal is to start buildings and complete development as quickly as possible,” Starkey said. “But if we had an unforeseen event that caused the market to stagnate for years, like a recession or a war, that would be a compatible use in our view, because seniors currently spend more than $2 million to live in a home. which is supported. all the conveniences of life care.

Bayshore Gateway ARC officials said they are fully supportive of the project, no matter what happens to the Triangle. “Were excited. We’ve been waiting for something to happen around this corner to kick-start this whole area,” said Tami Scott, Project Manager of Bayshore CRA. Once this project kicks off, we anticipate some movement there, and we’ll be ready for that.

Affordable housing came up during public comment at Thursday’s Planning Commission meeting, with Affordable Housing Advisory Committee member John Harney explaining how this land could impact the workforce surrounding due to its location near the city center.

“If we’re going to start solving the affordable housing problem that we have, we need to look at areas like this, especially to place affordable housing,” Harney said. “He is very available for transit. People who might work downtown in hotels and restaurants could very easily take a bus, ride a bike, or even walk because it’s so close.

Given that the agreement with the metropolis of Naples was reached in 2018 without discussing affordable housing, the planning commission said it did not think it would be appropriate to change the development requirements now. “I just don’t think it would be fair at this point to change the rules retroactively,” Fryer said. “If it was a whole new thing coming, which was a clean slate, I would totally agree with you.”

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