Workforce housing units going in at old Super 8 Motel in Naples

NAPLES, Fla. — Workforce housing is coming to Naples, and it’ll be at an old Super 8 Motel. K2 Developers bought the motel and will house essential workers in 104 rooms.

People are still struggling to find affordable housing, despite the housing market cooling off in some aspects. However, some haven’t been able to find reasonable homes to rent.

“I’ve seen some listings as high as $5,000 a month,” said Joy Danderfield, a traveling physical therapist. “It has been absolutely crazy.”

She lives in Fort Myers currently but travels across Florida for work with her husband.

“It’s pretty discouraging,” she said. “I wanted to stay here and sign another contract, but finding housing has been very, very difficult.”

This is why K2 Developers says it’s going to build workforce housing at the motel off of Tollgate Boulevard near I-75.

K2 Developers

“The pain point of this community is so dire that we want to address the needs today and help folks,” said Dan Kessler with K2 Developers.

They’ll spend a little less than two years renovating 104 units. Nurses and other staff from Naples Community Hospital will live in 20 of them.

“We’ve had employees — physicians, all the way including nurses and housekeeping and other technical positions express concerns about housing costs,” said Matthew Holliday with NCH.

According to Bright Community Trust Collier, the county is short 10,000 affordable workforce housing units.

“So my options are either commute from Fort Myers to Naples or find a different contract,” Danderfield said.

Danderfield wants to stay in Florida but says she may not have a choice but to leave.

“No matter how much they [my job] offer down here for payments, the housing prices down here are just too much,” she said.

Rent.com says the average price for a studio in Naples is a little more than $2,300 a month.

“I don’t know if I’ll be able to take another contract here because of it,” Danderfield said.

Kessler said people will start moving into the units as soon as October. If you’re an essential worker looking to move in, you can contact Premier Property Management for more information.

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