Luxury has clearly become the name of the game in Collier and Lee County development. Seemingly everywhere you look, fancy hotels, homes and apartments are rising, with more planned.
The elite have a lot more disposable income to play with after the slashing of their taxes at the end of last decade so why not come with that cash to the Southwest Florida sunshine? Developers are making their dreams come true.
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Here’s a sampling of the many, many projects bringing the bling in 2022 and beyond:
South China Sea to the Gulf of Mexico
A Hong Kong-based chain with an exclusive club of 29 luxury hotels from Tuscany to Hawaii has sights set on Southwest Florida for a rare housing enterprise.
Announced in May, Collier County would join Lido Key and Miami Beach as the only three US branded residential projects for Rosewood Hotel & Resorts selling homes. On Earth, it has five other similar seashore endeavors in Thailand, Brazil, Mexico and the Bahamas that have lodgings for sale.
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With sales slated to start later this year for fewer than 50 gulf front units, the Rosewood Residences Naples would emerge at 1601 Gulf Shore Blvd., where the Mansion House complex has been next to Lowdermilk Park. County records show the five acres purchased for $167 million last year.
Putting on the Ritz in Collier and Lee
The Ritz Carlton brand is at the center of at least a couple of luxury projects.
Its iconic 14-floor Vanderbilt Beach resort is undergoing expansion and renovations not that far off from its original $80 million price tag almost four decades ago. That’s due for completion by Christmas or so.
And Ritz has plans underway for extravagant residential doings on Estero Bay, north of the Hyatt Regency Point Resort and Spa. Targeted for a 2025 arrival, the Ritz-Carlton Residences and its 224 condos in a pair of 22-story edifices are slated for 500 acres. Prices start in the $2 million range.
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$1 billion in hotel deals, upgrades
Last year’s $362 million purchase of the 124 acres of the former Naples Beach Hotel was just the start of a transformation.
The new owners aren’t nearly done spending money for the Four Seasons and new complex where work began in late April. Based on a similar project in Fort Lauderdale, at least another $200 million will not be surprising. Completion is targeted for late 2024.
And that one’s of several hotel deals that have taken place the past two months and will spur more activity including the $156 million for the Inn on Fifth and a $248 million agreement featuring the Naples Grande Beach Resort.
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Stretching Fifth Avenue South?
The most congested intersection in the city of Naples is slated for a rising AC Marriott and nearly adjacent Gulfshore Playhouse.
The goal has been to finish erecting both by late 2023 on Goodlette-Frank Road, off Tamiami Trail. Some Naples leaders consider the projects important to better linking the ritzy shopping stretch of Fifth Avenue South to the Design District and surrounding area.
“This area in the next five years is just going to be so much more rich and cultural,” said Elizabeth Kurtz, a business developer at Kurtz Homes and president of the Naples Design District’s association.
By the way:In the Know: ‘High-end’ hotel slated for most congested spot in Naples
And:Naples Design District continues to evolve
Naples gateway to hotel, development
The Tamiami Trail and Davis Boulevard area is scheduled to usher at The Ellington, a 10-story, 126-room hotel topped with 24 swanky condos and the 15-story Aura at Metropolitan Naples, with its 56 luxury residences.
With a $110 million investment, the completion goal for the 1.98-acre former is late 2023, according to developers.
And for the 5.3-acre latter, with units going for as much as $6 million-plus, the target is finishing this first phase by 2024. Its top floor infinity sky pool and fitness center is to overlook Naples Bay, downtown Naples and the Gulf or Mexico.
More coverage:In the Know: New Hilton brand hitting Naples, Fort Myers; changes coming to Lee County riverfront
And:Naples luxury projects advance in area long targeted for revitalization
Fort Myers to become urban trendy; ‘The Irving’ plans 60 ‘very unique’ units
The Fort Myers waterfront is undergoing changes and one of the big additions approved for downtown is ‘The Irving’ — the $25.5 million luxury apartment building at the east end of Bay Street.
The city will provide a $4 million property tax break for the builder, a team led by Rebecka MacFarlane Barney, daughter of developer Robert MacFarlane who has developed several properties in Fort Myers and Lee County.
More:Developer gets tax break for luxury apartment complex in downtown Fort Myers
At nine stories, the building will be engineered to provide river views and a view of the urban atmosphere of First Street. Including in the design work: As part of “very unique” units, developers have in mind a “sun study” to make sure the Irving’s denizens receive the best Old Sol has to offer.
Based at the Naples Daily News, Columnist Phil Fernandez (email@example.com) writes In the Know as part of the USA TODAY NETWORK, which supplemented this report. Support Democracy and subscribe to a newspaper.