Marco Island to add more affordable housing

Reporter: Ashley French Writer: Elyssa Morataya
Published: Updated:

To bring more affordable housing to the island, The Marco Island City Council has approved a process for commercial building owners to convert upper-level offices into affordable housing apartments.

Joseph Oliverio, a business owner on the island, devised the plan about a year ago.

Oliverio owns three businesses along Collier Boulevard: Joey Pizza and Pasta, Dorreen’s, and La Mesa on Marco Island. 

Each business has 30 to 50 employees.

The cost of living on Marco Island is 62% higher than the national average, and one-bedroom apartments in the area can range from over $2,000 to $5,000.

Oliverio said the approval of the measure will help create more affordable options.

“We’re planning on building, in our particular application, three three-bedroom condominiums or apartments here in the apartment,” said Oliverio. “You’re probably looking at $2,000 a month, which is about what it’s going to cost, instead of a typical three-bedroom right now, which is almost $4,000 a month.”

While the logistics of the approval are still being sorted, some residents are already questioning how the measure will work.

“You have a certain culture here on Marco Island, and how might that be disrupted by moving people in here that would work?” said Marco Island visitor Alexandria Smith.

Other businesses also question the safety and parking the new change will have on the area.

Oliverio said these concerns will not harm the other businesses on Collier Boulevard.

“I have employees that come in and work at Joey’s Pizza,” said Oliveria. “They don’t need to have a car. They’re not gonna have a car. They’ll walk downstairs and go to one of the three restaurants to work, so parking will not be an issue.”

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