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2001-03-01
North Naples, Fl. Impasse Stops Home Depot

"We had just reached an impasse," the Home Depot spokesman told the Bonita (FL) Daily News, as their plans for a home improvement store flew out the window. Home Depot ran headlong into the Concerned Citizens of Collier County (see newsflash 2/17/01), and, as the newspaper said "abandoned the site after negotiations reached a standstill in the wake of an upswell of neighborhood opposition. That "wake" turned into a wake for the Home Depot plans on Wiggins Pass Road. In typical Home Depot fashion, the company immediately began talking about taking their marbles to the next town over -- Bonita Springs. Officials there began talking publicly about making deals with Home Depot, like asking the company to donate some of their land to the city, or putting up some affordable housing, creating a soccer field, etc. For these trinkets, the city of Bonita Springs would allow Home Depot in. One City Councilor told the newspaper that "Typically, the impact of a Wal-Mart or Home Depot is that they can do damage to the small mom and pop retailers, so that's something you have to be sensitive to." But it doesn't sound like there's a deep vein of sensitivity in Bonita Springs, because if the developer sweetens the pot, the Councilors seems eager to jump in. "If it's done well, I think it will be a great boon to Bonita," said the local planner. "If its not done well, I think it will be a problem for the corridor." For the residents of North Naples,however, they no longer have to worry about public officials who think you can make Home Depot an attractive neighbor.For them, the only acceptable Home Depot was no Home Depot.

What you can do: The withdrawal of Home Depot from North Naples is victory #148 on the Sprawl-Busters list of megastore meltdowns. For further information on the North Naples battle, contact info@sprawl-busters.com.










 
 
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