Texas Roadhouse, shown in Fort Myers, is one of at least eight restaurants planned for Restaurant Row Naples on the corner of U.S. 41 East and Collier Boulevard.

Texas Roadhouse, shown in Fort Myers, is one of at least eight restaurants planned for Restaurant Row Naples on the corner of U.S. 41 East and Collier Boulevard.

Q: What is the latest on restaurant row by Lely resort? Have any restaurants been solidified and when will any be open for business? A P.F. Chang’s or a Houston’s would be a welcome addition to the area.

— Laura M., Naples

Q: I live in Ohio but own a condo in Lely. Just checking on an update for development in that area. I knew there was to be a restaurant row being developed, but have heard nothing more. Was that cancelled? What about a Starbucks in that area? Thank you.

— Connie Grossman, Lely Resort

A: Texas Roadhouse‘s first Collier County location will anchor Restaurant Row Naples, a 7-acre development with at least eight restaurants planned along Freedom Square on the corner of U.S. 41 East and Collier Boulevard.

Drive-thru locations for the Starbucks coffee shop and Pollo Tropical grilled chicken chains are other eateries contracted so far to be a part of the project, and negotiations are in the works for other deals that will be signed soon, said Charlie Ladd, president of Barron Commercial Development. Amera-Barron, a venture of Coral Springs-based Amera Corp. and Fort Lauderdale-based Barron Commercial Development, plans an initial six pads with freestanding restaurants and multi-tenant buildings with smaller restaurants in them, Ladd said.

Expect the first businesses in Restaurant Row to open in April or May.

“We are looking to start construction in the next couple of weeks,” Ladd said.

The developers hope to attract businesses specializing in breakfast, Asian, Italian and Mexican cuisines to Restaurant Row, Ladd said.

“We also want to do a sports bar there. We’re still looking for one of those,” he said.

The project’s initial site development plan shows six buildings of various sizes ranging from 3,731 to 8,047 square feet and totaling more than 37,000 square feet. The same developers own another 4 acres on the other side of Freedom’s Square’s Triangle Boulevard entrance off Collier Boulevard, where other restaurant and retail deals are in the works, Ladd said.

Restaurant Row is just a part of the growth at the epicenter of one of the county’s busiest intersections.

“Everybody always believed this was a regional intersection. There just wasn’t enough density,” Ladd said. “It finally happened. The intersection has come of age.”

On the intersection’s corner opposite Restaurant Row, Indianapolis-based Kite Realty Group is constructing Tamiami Crossing. The new shopping center’s stores include Stein Mart, Ross, Marshalls, Michaels, PetSmart and Ulta.

To the north of Shops at Eagle Creek, which Kite also owns at that intersection, Wawa has proposed one of its popular stores and gas stations. Across the street in Stock Development’s Triangle Plaza, a Hobby Lobby arts and crafts store is planned to join Outback Steakhouse.

Restaurant Row has been slowly making its way through the planning and permitting process, which Ladd admits has been painful because of all the moveable parts and architectural details.

“It’s a tough process,” he said. “It’s complex because you have six buildings with multiple tenants. It’s very detailed. The process takes long.”

Texas Roadhouse is a casual dining concept that operates more than 480 restaurants in 49 states and four foreign countries. The Kentucky-based chain’s nearest location is in Fort Myers.

In addition to its complimentary roasted peanuts and fresh-baked rolls with honey cinnamon butter, Texas Roadhouse is known for its hand-cut steaks, made-from-scratch sides, and its loud and lively atmosphere. Its menu also includes award-winning ribs and chili, as well as burgers, chicken, seafood and country dinners.

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