The City of Naples wants your input ahead of Design District transformation

Reporter: Rachel Cox-Rosen Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:

Changes are coming to an area of Naples and planners want you to be a part of it. The Naples Design District is getting a facelift and is asking the public for suggestions on everything from events to parking.

Already, 1500 people have made their way to this website to give their input on what they want to see in the district. So far, there has been a  great deal of feedback, from parking to events to requests for healthier restaurants. The city says that number isn’t high enough and they want everyone in Naples to be heard.

If there is one place that could encapsulate the down-home feel that the Naples Design District brings, it would be Bill’s Cafe. Denise Murray owns Bill’s Cafe. “We would like to get a little more visibility and let people know that we are here,” Murray said.

Just a short drive away from Bill’s is Abbie Joan Fine Living. Abbie Sladick is the president of Abbie Joan Fine Living. She knows the City of Naples wants to transform the Design District and she only has one request.

“The thing that we all want to feel is that it stays very low-key,” Sladick said.

That is the exact kind of input the City says it wants. Jeffrey Oris is the interim CRA Manager for the City of Naples. “We have not come into this with any preconceived notion of what this area should be. We really are relying on that public input to determine where the future is going,” Oris said.

Jeffrey Oris believes input from the community will help to create a guidebook of sorts for the proposed future of the Design District. “This is an unprecedented effort to reach out to the residents and property owners business owners of the City of Naples,” said Oris.

As a way to get the input its looking for, the City of Naples has set up a website where visitors, residents and business owners can take surveys and leave detailed comments on what they’d like to see the Design District transform into.

A sample survey from the City of Naples about Design District changes. Credit: WINK News

Quenby Tyler is the chair of the Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board and owner of Audrey’s. “The consulting firm, I can tell you, they absolutely want to hear from you. They absolutely want to know what’s on your mind and where to proceed because they understand this is our town,” Tyler said.

The City of Naples is also holding a series of in-person public input meetings for the Naples Design District redevelopment, beginning on November 9. That will be the chance for community members to speak face-to-face with the designers working on plans for the Design District.

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