Often asked about concerns with a recent surge in downtown redevelopment, Naples mayoral candidates Bill Barnett and John Sorey have both taken a consistent stance — the plans to revitalize Fifth Avenue South have worked, and the city should be careful not to abruptly turn its back on those plans.
Their position stems from their longevity. They lived in the city in the 1990s when many stores on Fifth Avenue were boarded up. They remember the situation was so dire that a renowned urban planner, Andres Duany, was hired to study the avenue and offer a vision to save it.
Two decades later, Duany’s plan has been realized. Fifth Avenue is now the city’s prized business district, home to a working blend of window shopping, outdoor dining and mixed-use buildings with upper-floor condominiums.