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 June 24, 2024
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Adventures on Trade Center Way Out of the way in on of Naples' coolest shopping districts

by: Teresa Morgenstern

Article Courtesy of InTown

You’re ready to run a bunch of errands, ranging from picking up vitamins and dry cleaning to selecting that perfect piece of unfinished furniture, all while your child takes a gymnastics class.

Normally, that would require a lot of driving, and, of course, more time. However, there is one street that can accommodate all those needs and more, and it’s located in an industrial park. Imagine that!

Tucked off Airport-Pulling Road, north of Pine Ridge Road, Trade Center Way is more than an industrial park. It’s a place that’s brimming with a variety of shops, stores and showrooms that make up the patchwork quilt of the area.

Originally named for its dedication to serving the building and construction industries, Trade Center Way has evolved into an eclectic mix of businesses that have something for just about everyone. Thanks to its convenient location and relatively inexpensive rental rates, the Trade Center Way area has matured from a building here and there to a bustling street of activity in less than 10 years. Naturally, the street has its share of industrial companies, from plastering and marble to cabinetry and interior design services. But, Trade Center Way is also home to several service-oriented businesses.

For example, you can get your supply of vitamins at a discounted rate from Sunshine Discount Vitamins, a six-year mainstay.

"Nobody thought we would be as successful as we are here," said Karen Walker, owner of Sunshine Discount Vitamins. "But being on Trade Center Way has offered us many advantages–the most obvious being lower rent. With the zoning restrictions, we can only use a percentage of our total space to display our products, so every inch counts for the 15,000 products we offer. We also order from 170 different companies and can special-order items for our customers. In the back, we offer free lectures.

"We love it here. We had some concerns that it wouldn’t be as accessible, but our customers have found us," Walker added.

Trade Center Way is also a hot spot for those who enjoy exercising. A mainstay has been Gold’s Gym. Just over a year ago, however, another gym opened, Gymnastic World Naples.

"Trade Center is a great location. It hardly seems like an industrial park because it’s too pretty," said Chris Dickey, owner. Gymnastics World has been in business over 26 years and also has locations in Cape Coral and Fort Myers.

"You wouldn’t think this, but we do get a lot of walk-in traffic," Dickey added. Gymnastic World Naples offers recreational gymnastics, and cheerleading and tumbling squad classes. It is also the site of frequent birthday parties.

"We’re averaging around four parties each weekend," said Dickey. Gymnastics World Naples also has a dance studio and a fully equipped gym.

For those who are bike enthusiasts, there is the Road House Hawgs, which opened its doors in September 2001.

"The location is great for us because of the nature of the work we do," said Steve "Bird Dog" Berg, co-owner. "And the noise factor. We couldn’t offer all our services in a shopping center. Here, we sell and repair bikes, and have parts and accessories available. We also build custom bikes to order."

Berg added that since opening the doors, business has been strong.

"People just kind of found us here. Once the word’s out, it just took off from there. We get anywhere from 20-100 people here in a week," he said. Recently, one customer came from Miami to have his bike repaired.

Berg said the location offers another advantage for his business.

"There isn’t another bike shop on this end of town," he said.

Then there’s a store that makes houseplant calls. Pots and Plants, which has been on Trade Center Way for three years, sells silk plants.

"We get a lot of interior designers in our store to select plants for their clients," said Lil Kraft, sales associate. Kraft added that the store has benefited from other stores on Trade Center Way with business referrals.

Should you get hungry while running your errands, there is John’s Yellow Submarine. John’s Yellow Sub-Marine features "Beatle Tunes All Day" and combos with names like the Eleanor Rigby and the Penny Lane. Somehow, the innovative owners combined their love for excellent deli fare with the Beatles. Clearly, this is the kind of rugged individualism that makes the Trade Center area so alluring.

But food, décor and motorcycles aren’t all you can find here. There are great furniture finds to be found as well. Out On A Limb has been located on Trade Center Way for five years.

"Because we build and custom finish furniture for our customers, we couldn’t be in your typical shopping plaza. On Trade Center Way, it doesn’t look or feel like what you would expect for an industrial park," said owner, Vince Runyon. "You can shop in this industrial area. The buildings here are new and they look nice. Nothing really compares to this. It’s a different world here and it’s not unusual to see Mercedes driving through here. People find us because they come here for other services too, so I think all the businesses here benefit each other. People do come here to shop."

In an area known for its boutiques, exclusive shops and high-end storefronts, the unique grid of streets that make up Trade Center are a wild, wacky and wonderfully refreshing adventure for any shopper looking for fine art, a fine delicatessen or, perhaps, fresh cement.


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