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Three of the six buildings are now under construction for the first phase of Restaurant Row along Collier Boulevard near its intersection with U.S. 41 East. (Tim Aten/Daily News staff)

Q: I am seeing land clearing on the northwest corner of Route 951 and Route 41 in East Naples. What are the future plans for this site?

— Kay P., East Naples

Q: Construction started on Collier and U.S. 41 in front of Publix. Which restaurant is being built now?

— Ginette M., Naples

A: The first building for Restaurant Row Naples is well under way and construction of two others is expected to begin today.

“It’s going to start looking like something in the next couple of weeks,” said Charlie Ladd, president of Barron Commercial Development, a Fort Lauderdale-based company that has teamed up with Coral Springs-based Amera Corp. for the restaurant-centric development in East Naples.

The future collection of at least eight eateries fronts Collier Boulevard on a 7-acre strip of land along the edge of the Freedom Square shopping center at the U.S. 41 East intersection. Amera-Barron plans an initial six pads with freestanding restaurants and multi-tenant buildings with smaller restaurants in them, Ladd said.

Construction began early this year on the first structure, located nearest the Collier Boulevard entrance into Freedom Square. The 6,452-square-foot multi-tenant building will host a Starbucks drive-thru, a T-Mobile cell phone store, and a third tenant to be named later, Ladd said.

Starbucks’ tenant buildout permit was approved April 27 for its 2,190-square-foot space, which includes 300-square-feet for outdoor seating, county development records show, so expect the popular coffeehouse chain to open in late summer, Ladd said.

Immediately south of the first building, construction is expected to start today, Ladd said, on an outparcel for Pollo Tropical restaurant chain’s third location in Collier County. The county issued the building permit April 26 for the 3,693-square-foot building with a drive-thru.

Also starting construction Monday will be a commercial duplex building withChipotle Mexican Grill and Pei Wei Asian Diner. These would be the second locations in Collier for both of these popular chains.

However, Chipotle first will open another location later this year in the former Naples Plaza space of Empire China, which closed May 1 after operating for nearly 15 years in the Publix-anchored shopping center on U.S. 41 across from Coastland Center mall.

“It is looking like late summer or early fall, but it is too far out to pin a specific date,” said Danielle Moore, a spokeswoman for Denver-based Chipotle Mexican Grill.

So, with its local launch five years ago in Mercato, Chipotle’s third location in the Naples area will be in Restaurant Row. A target opening date was not available.

Next to Chipotle-Pei Wei, will be the first Collier location for Texas Roadhouse in a freestanding building nearest the intersection of U.S. 41 and Collier Boulevard. A construction schedule for this casual restaurant and bar has not been released.

Tenants and launch dates for two other buildings planned in Restaurant Row have yet to be announced.

The Restaurant Row Naples concept is targeted to feed a rapidly growing part of the county that has been underserved so far, Ladd said.

“You have to have amenities. That area needs it,” he said. “There’s a lot of interest and the restaurant people are all ready to be down there.”

That intersection is booming with commercial projects. On the corner opposite Restaurant Row, Indianapolis-based Kite Realty Group recently launched Tamiami Crossing. The new shopping center’s stores include Stein Mart, Ross, Marshalls, Michaels, PetSmart and Ulta. The development also will have four outparcel lots with tenants that have yet to be named.

To the north of Shops at Eagle Creek, which Kite also owns at that intersection,Wawa has proposed one of its popular convenience stores and gas stations. Across U.S. 41 from the future Wawa and just north of Freedom Square, a Hobby Lobbyarts and crafts store is under construction to join Outback Steakhouse in Stock Development‘s Triangle Plaza.

Previous stories on Restaurant Row:

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A Starbucks drive-thru will be in one of the first buildings completed at Restaurant Row along Collier Boulevard at U.S. 41 East. (Rendering courtesy of Barron Commerical Development)

A Starbucks drive-thru will be in one of the first buildings completed at Restaurant Row along Collier Boulevard at U.S. 41 East. (Rendering courtesy of Barron Commerical Development)
Restaurant Row Naples is a 7-acre development with at least eight new restaurants planned for the corner of U.S. 41 East and Collier Boulevard.

Restaurant Row Naples is a 7-acre development with at least eight new restaurants planned for the corner of U.S. 41 East and Collier Boulevard.
The first phase of Restaurant Row Naples plans at least eight restaurants on Collier Boulevard just north of U.S. 41 East. Collier Boulevard runs along the bottom edge of this graphic, Triangle Boulevard is on the right and Celeste Drive along the top. Site plan courtesy of Barron Commercial Development

The first phase of Restaurant Row Naples plans at least eight restaurants on Collier Boulevard just north of U.S. 41 East. Collier Boulevard runs along the bottom edge of this graphic, Triangle Boulevard is on the right and Celeste Drive along the top. Site plan courtesy of Barron Commercial Development
Restaurant Row is being built on either side of the Collier Boulevard entrance into Freedom Square near the intersection of U.S. 41 East. Rendering courtesy of Barron Commercial Development

Restaurant Row is being built on either side of the Collier Boulevard entrance into Freedom Square near the intersection of U.S. 41 East. Rendering courtesy of Barron Commercial Development