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Island Store renovation project moving along

By Staff | Jul 7, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Bailie and Richard Johnson check out the new paint job on the Island Store.

With the outside renovations to the Island Store done, interior work for the project has started.

Calli Johnson, whose family owns Bailey’s General Store on Sanibel and operates the Captiva shop, reported on July 1 that the exterior work wrapped up in June, with the inside renovation now the focus.

“Interior plumbing, electrical, framing, and HVAC work has begun,” she said, adding that much planning has also been taking place. “Interior walls are getting put up, with drywall and paint next.”

The project has been running smoothly over the last few months, with no problems coming up.

“With the next steps for drywall, we look forward to finishing the interior buildout,” Johnson said.

PHOTO PROVIDED Calli Johnson

“Pavers and decking will be installed after the interior work is complete,” she added.

With coordinated help from RLR Investments – the building’s owner – and the Lee County Historic Preservation Board, 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 RLR Investments. The shop reopened for a period before closing for the renovations.

Toward the start of the project, there were some unexpected structural issues.

“After the contractors found significant deterioration of the building’s structural components during demolition, structural engineers were called in to assess the damage and draft plans to ensure the structural integrity of the building,” Johnson reported earlier in January. “With the plans in place, the contractors are back at work and diligently following the engineer’s expert specifications.”

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

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

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

Last week, Johnson reported that part of the planning has entailed some functional changes.

“We are hoping to maximize parking with a new paver parking lot,” she said. “Additionally, the functional floor plan of the store will be much more convenient to our customers, with added shelf space within the same footprint of the building.”

“The liquor store is moving from the end of the building to the corner closest to the intersection, which will also increase customer ease of use,” Johnson added.

Bailey’s anticipates reopening the shop to island residents and visitors later this year.

“We plan to open before the winter holidays – hopefully sooner,” she said.

During the project, Bailey’s has been offering island-wide delivery from its Sanibel business.

“We deliver to Captiva several times a day every day,” Johnson said. “Many customers ask if we will stock their rental for them, and we happily coordinate with their rental agency to do that so they can enjoy their vacation when they arrive.”

Bailey’s has thanked the community for its patience throughout the project.

“We are excited to reopen as soon as possible,” she said.

For more information about the delivery service, call 239-472-1516.

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