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NAPLES, FL-Antaramian Capital Partners has received unanimous approval from the Collier County Planning Commission to add more commercial space to the plans for Sandpiper Village, a mixed-use residential project which has been conservatively estimated to cost $25 million on 15 acres at the city’s southernmost gateway.

Eight months ago, the county commission approved a plan for 45,000 sf of commercial space and 180 multifamily apartment units. The revised plan, which is expected to be approved by the full commission on Jan. 8, increases the commercial space to 52,500 sf and reduces the number of residential units from 180 to 170.

The changes also call for eliminating a parking garage and a recreation building, and adding an open-air entrance that will allow people driving by the project along U.S. 41 to see deep in to the Mediterranean-style project, which is located on the south side of East Tamiami Trail, or US 41 Highway, at the intersection of Sandpiper Street and Davis Boulevard–the city’s southernmost thoroughfare to Interstate I-75.

Kim Minarich, spokesperson for developer Jack Antaramian, tells GlobeSt.com that the additional commercial space was added to the project after the firm did an informal survey of residents in the immediate area and found that there was a large demand for retail space.

She said the new design also gives a better frontage on US 41. Minarich says the project will include neighborhood service types of stores, such as a specialty food market, restaurants, ice cream shops, and coffee shops.

Naples attorney George Varnadoe, who is representing Antaramian in the project, told the commission that market research shows small retailers want at least 50,000 sf of space so there can be more shops, thereby increasing the likelihood that people will buy items in several of them.

Minarich says Antaramian believes Sandpiper Village will act as a catalyst for redevelopment in the Bayshore Gateway Triangle Redevelopment District, just as his 1995 redevelopment of a building served as a catalyst in the city’s Fifth Avenue South Redevelopment District.

Many of the characteristics proposed for Sandpiper Village mirror projects that have been approved elsewhere in the city. Part of the project contains designs for upscale residential units on top of the commercial retail and office space, in addition to separate two- and three-story residential-only buildings.

Minarich says that if the county commission approves the revised plan next month, construction on the project could begin 12 to18 months later.

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