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Town of Big Cypress planned in eastern Collier

A new town is in the works in Collier County.

Developer Collier Enterprises hopes the new area, the Town of Big Cypress, will serve as a hub for three separate 1,000-acre villages in eastern Collier.

Collier Enterprises said they’ll put in an application for the Town of Big Cypress after their three villages are approved.

The new hub is expected to bring thousands of jobs to the area. It will also include a community park, restaurants, affordable housing, schools and more, meaning fewer people will have to drive to Naples to work, shop or eat out.

But not everyone is happy about the development.

“The bears are our neighbors,” said Tracy Perez, who lives in Golden Gate Estates, which is near the area slated for the Town of Big Cypress. “It’s horrible. It’s horrible, it’s too much. The traffic. There’s no place for the animals to go when you take their land.”

David Rich, also of Golden Gate Estates, drives 35 minutes to his gun shop and said he is fine with the commute.

We moved out there because we liked the rural atmosphere,” Rich said. “We liked that we could do what we wanted and not have to worry about it as long as we followed the basic rules.”

Others are fine with the project.

“It’s progress,” said James Dagata, of Golden Gate Estates. “I’m not gonna stop it, you can’t stop it.”

Jason LeMay likes the concept.

“I see it as a win-win,” the Golden Gate resident said. “I think for the people in the Estates it’s actually going to give us a better quality of life.”

For more information, you can visit the project’s website here.

Statement from Patrick Utter, senior vice president of real estate for Collier Enterprises:

“The Town of Big Cypress is a future project for Collier Enterprises that will bring over 6,000 jobs to eastern Collier County, large-scale employment centers, retail space on a regional scale, a 43-acre community park, and a vibrant, pedestrian friendly town core for all residents of eastern Collier County. It is designed as an activity center for the Villages of Rivergrass, Longwater and Bellmar, where residents will be connected by walking and bike paths to their jobs, restaurants, entertainment, and essential services like grocery stores. This will help reduce the need for residents of eastern Collier County to travel into Naples on a regular basis. Additionally, Collier Enterprises is preserving 12,300 acres of high-quality environmental lands in perpetuity, at no cost to taxpayers, and providing an affordable housing component to help solve the County’s issue with attainable housing.”

Reporter:Rachel Cox-Rosen
Writer:Melissa Montoya
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