Marco Island shopping plaza to get makeover

An old shopping plaza on North Collier Boulevard and Bald Eagle Drive could get a makeover in an effort to attract more tourists.

Marco Town Center Mall is one of the first areas people see when they drive onto the island. But vacant stores might make visitors want to turn around.

“It’s kind of bland, very brown and boring,” visitor Rachel Kesling said.

Kesling was visiting the island from up north and says the plaza did not leave a positive impression on her.

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“Maybe if they re-did everything it would pull me in a little more,” Kesling said. “If I walk in and there’s not really any greenery, it doesn’t really pull me in.”

Plaza owners are now working with the city to revamp the 50-year-old plaza with landscaping, sidewalks, more shops and restaurants.

Frank Lacava owns the Marco Island Brewery located in the plaza and says he’s thrilled the city is looking into jazzing up the area. He’s hopeful the change will attract more customers.

“Activity basically breeds activity. So, we feel it will be a major impact on the center here and again on all the businesses in the area,” Lacava said.

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The city planning department still has to present the designs to the council. If approved, plaza owners will spend several million dollars toward the revamp.

Reporter:Hannah Vogel