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Officials provide Island Store construction update

By Staff | Dec 9, 2019

TIFFANY REPECKI Construction continues at the Island Store, now operated by Bailey’s General Store.

Renovations at The Island Store are ongoing, with an undetermined completion date, as issues with the building’s structural components were discovered by the contractors when they started the project.

On Dec. 4, operator Bailey’s General Store provided an update.

With coordinated help from the Lee County Historic Preservation Board and RLR Investments – the building’s owner – Bailey’s has been working to rebuild and renovate the exterior and interior of the store. At the end of 2018, Bailey’s bought the rights to the business from its former operator and signed a new lease with the building’s owner. The store reopened for a period before closing for renovations.

“After beginning construction, the contractors found significant deterioration of the building’s structural components,” Calli Johnson, whose family owns Bailey’s, reported last week. “Structural engineers are currently drafting the plans to ensure the structural integrity of the building, in order to safely welcome shoppers upon reopening and for future generations to come.”

“Unfortunately, due to the age of the building and the significant structural issues, a timeline on completion is impossible to predict,” she added.

At two Captiva Community Panel meetings this year – in January and June – Bailey’s held presentations for the group. They explained that the project would entail renovating the store’s interior and exterior, while maintaining Captiva’s architectural standards for historic buildings like it.

“With the same charm shoppers have enjoyed since ‘Ding’ Darling opened it as a general store in the early 1900s,” Johnson said.

Registered as a historic site and building, it once served as a boarding school, as well.

At the panel meetings, Bailey’s also explained that the planned project would retain the building’s “look,” but use modern materials built to last longer. The store’s footprint would stay the same.

“All involved in the project are working to reopen the business as quickly as possible,” Johnson reported. “The operators of The Island Store understand this leaves a significant gap in the amenity offerings on Captiva. Fortunately, they are prepared to serve you from Bailey’s General Store.”

She explained that the Sanibel store provides delivery services throughout Captiva.

“And can even stock your home or rental before you arrive,” Johnson added.

Bailey’s and RLR Investments thanked the public for its patience.

“The same folks that welcome you to Bailey’s General Store on Sanibel have enjoyed serving you over the past year on Captiva at The Island Store,” she reported. “Upon completion, the store will reopen as the same quaint Island Store that shoppers have come to know, love and count on, year after year.”

The Island Store is at 1500 Andy Rosse Lane, Captiva.