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Realty Check: What Your Money Will Buy

... for $16.46 million, $7.775 million and $2.895 million.


$16.46 million

A 49-year-old home might not normally reach the top of a would-be purchaser’s wish list, but in the case of the 6,360-square-footer at 1880 Gulf Shore Blvd. S. in Naples, the old-school layout is precisely what made it impossible to ignore.

Twice renovated since it was built in 1964, the home features 170 feet of Gulf of Mexico beachfront and is set 400 feet back on the property—giving it both magnificent sightlines and a private feel, according to listing agent Andrew Arreola of Gulf Coast International Properties.

“The design is what made it so unique,” Arreola says. “What fetched the big purchase number was that, even after the renovations, the home retained its 1964 setback and the sweeping views because of where it sits in relation to the water. If you knocked it down and started over, you’d lose that because it wouldn’t be built in the same place on the property.”

Island-influenced themes blend with a classic resort style to provide a tranquil oasis feeling throughout the house, which features cherry wood floors and marble throughout. Other features include Lutron one-touch lighting, an imported Chinese tile roof, a Southern sun deck and wraparound sun terraces of marble and sandstone.

Two guest wings branch off the main house with three guest bedrooms and three full baths and a resort-size pool and spa with a shallow shelf. Separate from the main house is a guest house built in 2008 with three bedrooms, three bathrooms and two half baths.

The home is within walking distance of the shops and restaurants on Third Street South in Naples and sold for $16.46 million in August. “And every room has the spectacular views of the water,” Arreloa says.


$7.775 million

A Michigan couple who winter in Southwest Florida took a hands-on approach with a 7,035-square-foot new construction home at 1001 Spyglass Drive in the Port Royal section of Naples.

“They bought it at the drywall stage, and it was custom-made from there,” says Frank R. Sajtar, the selling agent from Premier Sotheby’s International Realty on Broad Avenue in Naples. “They took it in the direction they wanted to go, right up from the walnut floors. It was truly a blank slate.”

The home has five bedrooms, five full baths and three half baths, with a first-floor master suite (which includes his and her bathrooms) that opens to an outdoor spa area. Meanwhile, a second-floor master suite with a large lanai looks down Naples Bay.

A gourmet kitchen features a large island and an in-house wine cellar can hold up to 1,000 bottles.

“It was kind of a unique situation,” Sajtar says. “Most buyers don’t want to get involved with that level of customization. (The purchasing couple) looked at a lot of places. They weren’t going to go really quick on it until they had what they wanted.”

Outside, the home features a negative-edge pool with a spa and a water feature, in addition to an outdoor kitchen, a three-car garage and a dock on a canal with access to the Gulf of Mexico.

It sold in July for $7.775 million.

$2.895 million

What the 2,606-square-foot home at 15166 Wiles Drive on Captiva lacked in size, it more than made up for in “feel,” according to selling agent Jeff Burns of Royal Shell Real Estate.

“The house has an old-style Captiva charm about it,” he says. “The high wood ceilings create a feeling that’s a little nostalgic. And when you add in the views, there was a whole lot to like.”

The house was built in 1990 and has three bedrooms and two baths, in addition to French doors and expansive windows that bathe the interior in natural light. The master suite includes a separate dressing area, laundry, large walk-in closets and a freestanding cast-iron tub.

Outside are wide porches and a canopy of trees that provide a private, resort-style feel. And, of course, the 131 feet of beach on the Gulf of Mexico doesn’t hurt, either.

“There’s a lot of outdoor living space,” Burns says. “It really makes you feel like you’re in the tropics. All you can see when you’re outside are trees and water.”

The house sold for $2.895 million in July to an out-of-state buyer who’s a seasonal resident and owns other properties on the island.


Banyan Bay

Banyan Bay is a gated Fort Myers community consisting of 132 single-family homes and conveniently positioned close to beaches, shopping, dining and the Healthpark medical campus. Five floorplans—the Pembroke, Edison, Bedford, Skylark and Newport—range in size from 1,804 to 3,552 square feet and in starting price from $264,990 to $345,990.

Total Number of Properties: 132

Total MLS Sales, August 2011 to August 2012: NA

Price Range: $209,990 to $293,990

Total MLS Sales, August 2011 to August 2012: NA

Price Range: $216,990 to $345,990

On the Market: This three-bedroom model is a new construction, quick delivery home with the Bedford floor plan. It has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, one half bathroom and 2,587 square feet of living space with a two-car garage. It is available for $329,129.

Recent Sale: Another of the Bedford models with some changes in design sold in July for $327,952. The 2,857-square-foot home had three bedrooms, three full bathrooms, a two-car garage and a loft. A monthly maintenance fee includes community pool maintenance; individual lawn and landscape maintenance; basic cable TV service; and irrigation system, gate, lake and common area maintenance.



Saving a Place for the Tree

Upon acquiring a 54-acre property in Naples and targeting it for home development, Sarasota-based Neal Communities had a unique problem: What to do with dozens of mature trees left over from the landscape nurseries that had previously occupied parts of the tract?

Rather than bulldozing the trees as part of the clear/excavate/install utilities/build roads sequence that typically starts a site development, Neal decided to make the trees its top priority.

“We felt it was our environmental responsibility to save as many of the existing mature oak and palm trees on this property,” says Michael R. Greenberg, the company’s vice president. “Our plans include protecting as much of its natural beauty as possible and still allowing for construction of the homes.”

As a result, 45 oak and 40 palm trees are being relocated from various points on the property—off Collier Boulevard, between Immokalee and Vanderbilt Beach roads—in a labor-intensive process that involves teaming with engineers, surveyors and landscapers.

Prep work began in May when trees were selected, trimmed, root pruned and irrigated. More than a mile of flex pipe, a pump system, irrigation timers and electrical service was set up to keep the trees healthy and ready for the transition. Relocation began in August and specific trees were tagged, numbered and labeled on the landscape site plan.

Trunks were wrapped and the trees were lifted with loaders to their new locations, with care being taken not to damage the root systems—and to place them in spots to enhance community design.

The most mature of the oak trees had canopies that spanned 40 feet.

The new community’s name, appropriately, is Canopy.

“Our experience as creative developers allowed us to take the natural environment and maximize the design by including the beautiful specimen of trees on the property,” Greenberg says. “It allows us to give a mature, canopied feel for the community at a value to future homeowners.”

Upon completion, Canopy will feature 108 single-family homes ranging from 1,772 to 3,000 square feet in size and situated around a seven-acre lake. The community will also have two smaller lakes and 18 acres of wetland preserve.

Sales begin in December and Greenberg says enthusiasm is already palpable.

“Our sensitivity to good environmental planning at Canopy and our heritage as sustainable developers has attracted a great deal of excitement from the community at large,” he says. “We have many people who have already expressed interest.”


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