Hurt by construction, businesses hoping for spike in revenue following Publix grand opening
By Andre Senior. CREATED Dec 6, 2012
NAPLES - A brand new Publix supermarket opened its door in Naples on Thursday morning.
"There's a line down the side of Publix to be the first group of people inside," said Jason Gibson, owner of Rita's Italian Ice, located a few doors down from the newly constructed Publix.
Like many tenants at Naples Plaza at Golden Gate Boulevard and US 41, he had waited for the construction and remodeling of the complex to be complete.
"It's been a rough several months. This was the area that had all the dirty work going on."
Gibson estimates he lost 30% of his business when construction equipment began to litter the parking lot where customers normally parked.
He told In Your Corner that he even asked the developers for a break on the rent because of the lost business, but he was turned down.
Fox 4 asked City of Naples Mayor John Sorey what he thought of the businesses that were suffering during the work.
"In a lot of things you have to have a little pain to get to where you want to go and I think we're where we want to go," said Sorey.
On Thursday, the parking lot was packed with customers who stopped by to do some shopping at the new Publix.
The facility is 56,000 square feet and features natural and organic products, and a soup and salad bar and other delicacies.