5th Avenue South is a mixed-use street that offers a variety of businesses that range from coffee shops, (and there are many) to gourmet restaurants, ice cream shops, delicatessen, antique shops, art galleries, jewelers, gift stores, banks, real estate brokerages, stock trading offices, travel agencies, professional offices and condominiums upstairs. The list is endless and 5th Avenue literally is the main street in downtown Olde Naples and especially in ‘high season’, the place to be and be seen.
5th Avenue wasn’t always that way. It took long range planning, the hiring of Andres Duany, the famous architect, city planner and theorist along with a significant amount of money and effort to turn the street around. It was fast becoming deserted, with retailers, restaurants and businesses fleeing to some of the newer projects like the Waterside Shops and others.
Today all that has changed. It is back, alive and vibrant as ever, with per square foot prices bringing almost $80 to $90. As a matter of fact, on any given evening in season, there are better than 7,000 people shopping, dining or just plain strolling around doing some people watching. It’s a fun place, very popular with the tourists because it is so full of life.
The one sad thing is that it has driven many of the older businesses out because of the pricing. They just cannot afford to stay paying those kind of rents. The ma and pa stores are gone, along with the Old Naples Pharmacy, a fixture for years and years. Too bad, but I guess that it is just progress, and hopefully for the better!
V.K. [Mel] Melhado PA
Fine Home Specialist
Preview Naples Group
Premiere Plus Realty Co.