Plan in the works to revitalize Shoppes at Dockside in downtown Naples

When you think of Naples, you might think of 5th Avenue, but there is a plan to also bring shops on 6th Avenue back to life. This would help a forgotten business district of the downtown area and return some hidden shops to their original glory.

The Shoppes at Dockside on 6th Ave. is a quaint, humble part of downtown Naples — different from the glitz and glam of 5th Ave.

“It just reminds me of like a Key West town, you know, what Naples used to be before all the buildings and condos got started,” said Diana Senise, the co-owner of The Shabby Chic Soap & Boutique.

Sinese’s boutique is one of just a few businesses there. As you walk down the boardwalk, many for-lease signs and some noticeable shabbiness are present, brought on by years of neglect.

“It looked really dilapidated. It looked like nobody’s been here, touched anything in years,” Sinese said. “The inside as well as the outside. It was just awful.”

The Shoppes at Dockside was set to be demolished and turned into condos until new owners swooped in a few months ago.

“We just want to have good, successful local vendors in our retail shops, and kind of just revive it to its former glory,” said Clayton Coleman, a representative of the owner. “We just thought, you know, we’ve got to keep that part of town alive.”

There are signs of revival: a fresh paint job, repaired staircases, and of course, Sinese’s new shop, which she hopes will bring an artsy, unique touch and more people back to the boardwalk.

“A decade ago, this was full,” Sinese said. “It took a half-hour just to walk down to the boardwalk, so I’m hoping that that will happen again.”

A few storefronts down is The Parrot Bar & Grill.

“It’s a good dive bar, good food, cheap drinks,” said Kendall Bos. “It’s one of the best-hidden secrets in Naples I’d say.”

Reporter:Andrea Guerrero
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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