A special meeting of the Collier County Planning Commission was packed Tuesday, as residents listened intently as Arthrex leaders discussed why they want to close Creekside Boulevard to public use. The proposal is part of their expansion plans to add 560 more jobs to the county.
Creekside Boulevard runs east and west between Goodlette-Frank Road and U.S. 41, bisecting a cluster of buildings owned by the medical supply company.
"Our objective has been, and still is, to create a campus-like environment for our growing population of employees," David Bumpous, director of operations for Arthrex, told planning commissioners.
Commissioners weren't convinced that closing off Creekside is best for the area.
"All of Naples pretty much uses this road, moreso than they did before," said Diane Ebert.
Many residents agreed with Ebert.
"We use Creekside often," said Frank Szollosi, who lives near Arthrex's office campus. "It's convenient. We can get along without it if we have to, but that's a step backwards."
Residents were also concerned about Arthrex's original plans for a 200-foot tall office building, which the company scaled down to 122 feet after hearing local opposition.
"Arthrex needs a certain amount of square footage to house the 560 employees that they've pledged to grow here in Collier County," said Wayne Arnold, a building planner hired by Arthrex. "The only way they can do that is to grow vertically."
Arthrex has been awarded almost $6 million in county and state incentives to expand in Collier. Their proposals, including the closing of Creekside Boulevard, will go before the county's board of commissioners on October 25.