Foundation laid for Lakes Plaza in Naples
By Dawn De Busk
NAPLES — The concrete foundation and the slab have had time to harden, and the walls are ready to go up at a new commercial complex under construction in Naples.
“By Friday, one-half to three-quarters of the walls will be standing,” according to Kevin Gagnon, the developer and businessman who owns the lot.
Lakes Plaza is the name of the business complex that is being constructed, Gagnon said. Already, a diner and a beauty salon are lined up to lease a space, he said.
“Incidentally, the diner will be themed,” he said “It will be called the Country Skillet Diner. It will look nice with barn board and a country theme. They plan on serving home-cooked meals and being open for breakfast and lunch.”
Gagnon said there are two other businesses with which he is in the negotiation stage. Because the contracts are not yet finalized, he declined to say the name of those businesses.
“I will have two, possibly three, more spaces available for lease,” he said.
Each space for rent is 1,800 square feet, and the units could accommodate a retail store or medical, dental or professional offices, he said.
“Naples is long overdue for a good retail/ professional complex. In Naples, there are no good spaces left to lease,” he said.
“There is no question, it will fill up quickly. Certainly, it is a great location with great visibility,” Gagnon said.
The prime location is off Roosevelt Trail and near the junction of Route 11. The construction is occurring in the field next to Aubuchon Hardware.
Gagnon received approval from the Naples Planning Board for his project in autumn 2015.
“We preloaded the site last fall because it took a lot of fill, a lot of solid fill. Preloading that gives it the winter to compact,” Gagnon said. “We started in April doing the site work, digging the foundation hole.”
“Ever since I broke ground, I have had significantly more interest” from potential leasers, he said.
“That is what you got to do. Because people cannot imagine it from the drawing on the sign. They need to see it. I told myself ‘I am going to build this thing and then people will know what it is,” he said.
As the weeks have passed, the construction has started to take shape despite the fact that Mother Nature threw a wet blanket on the progress.
“It has been incredible — the amounts of rain that have delayed us so far. Our biggest battle has been dealing with the rain,” Gagnon said.
“The foundation was poured a week and a half ago. The concrete slab was poured last Thursday,” he said during a phone interview on Tuesday. “They moved in a bunch of steel yesterday and brought in the rest of the I-beams today. All the walls are panelized. We will start erecting the walls tomorrow.”
He estimated that the new businesses could start to do the setup work at the end of June. It is “a possibility” that the first two businesses in the Lakes Plaza could open their doors as early as the Fourth of July, he said.