When the history of the southwest portion of the state is mentioned, it does not get any more basic than Olde Naples Naples Florida. Geographically it is a roughly two mile stretch along the Gulf of Mexico starting at the southern boundary of The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club and continuing south to 14th Avenue South, Aqualane Shores and Port Royal. On the east side there is the Gordon River, Naples Bay and Royal Harbor. While the total area may not be that large, there are many different and distinct neighborhoods providing a true feel for what makes the city such a great place to live. One very unique feature of the area is that every east/west avenue ends in access to the beach, with most having some parking available, and that the complete span of the beach area along the Gulf in Olde Naples is public beach.
One such section of Olde Naples Naples Florida would be Ridge Lake on the northern edge of the community. This is a neighborhood of less than 150 single family homes, most of which are situated around 2 small inland lakes. The age of the homes in this district, as is the case with most of Olde Naples, varies from early Florida to brand new construction. At present there are 10 homes for sale in Ridge Lake, with list prices starting at around $1.0 million. This is a 2 bedroom, 2 bath ranch style residence that was built in 1957. Asking prices top out at $4.45 million for a 3 year old 2 story manor with more than 4,600 square feet of living area including 6 bedrooms and 4.5 baths, plus pool, spa and 2 car garage.
For the buyer with discerning taste who demands the highest quality in gracious living is this 6 bedroom Olde Naples home that is set on a quiet, tree-lined street within walking distance to the magnificent Naples beach in the most desireable Ridge Lake neighborhood. No expense was spared in creating the chefs kitchen to the finest custom finishes including but not limited to specialties such as a large glass wine room and roof-top deck for enjoying the view and gulf breeze. The coastal comtemporary design culminates in the huge outdoor living space boasting electric roll down screens & shutters, Sparks fireplace, tv, and complete kitchen. Quality construction features include 2-stories of concrete block, poured concrete second floor, impact windows and doors and standing seam metal roof. Seascape Builders, architect Falconer Jones and offered at $4.450
Just to the east and south of Ridge Lake is Naples Community Hospital (NCH), one of the top 20 medical centers in the entire state. According to US News & World Report, NCH has one of the 5 best systems for “heart bypass” in Florida. Other “high performing” systems of NCH, cited in the report include:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Congestive heart failure
- Total knee replacement
The NCH Healthcare System, headquartered in this Naples facility, is a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, and was the first to gain this status in the Southeast Region of the United States. This membership gives NCH’s doctors access to all the knowledge, ideas and expertise possessed by this organization, including the chance to “collaborate with Mayo Clinic physicians on patient care, community health, and innovative healthcare delivery.”
Probably the neighborhood that has the most notoriety is 5th Avenue South, where a 6 block section starting at Tamiami Trail goes west and where some of the finest boutiques and galleries in the world service the “famous” and the “not so famous”. This is where the highly respected Inn on Fifth is located, with its well earned Forbes Four Star and AAA Four Diamond recognitions. There are a total of nearly 120 “elegantly appointed rooms and suites” situated in two separate buildings, along with 2 restaurants, rooftop pool and 24 hour fitness center.
No discussion of 5th Avenue South would be complete without mentioning the numerous options available for dining, be it breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner. With more than 30 different restaurants from which to choose, making a decision may depend more on the time of day or the type of meal you desire.
5th Avenue South is also the locale where the Sudgen Community Theatre, home of the “Naples Players”, can be found. Originally founded in 1952 in order to bring live theatre and an additional “cultural step” to the area, the first production by the “Players” was “I Remember Mama” which ran for one night in 1953. The growth of the membership continued slowly, and by 1970 the troupe was putting on 4 shows annually, with a season ticket costing $6. The theatre itself was opened in 1998, and today this group of thespians hold more than 200 live performances each year.
The Metropolitan is an iconic building exquisitely positioned on 5th Avenue South, the most desirable street in Olde Naples. Divine in nature and substance the Metropolitan is home to seven exclusive pent-house pied-à-terre residences. The show model for residence 303 has been fully renovated and designed with a flair for a "cosmopolitan" yet relaxed lifestyle. Gorgeously furnished and decorated in a classically cool French navy and ivory color palette by Fifth Avenue Design Gallery. Modern and traditional elements reside in harmony from the dark stained bamboo hardwood floors to the architecturally inspired marble and glass mosaic kitchen wall. Contemporary white quartz countertops, sleek fixtures, custom cabinetry, solid core doors, walk in master closet, a separate full size laundry room and new high impact sliding glass doors lead onto sun filled terrace overlooking 5th Avenue. Luxurious silk drapery, glamourous lighting and bespoke artwork set the tone for inspired living on 5th Avenue South. All of this plus furnishing available and offered at an amazing $725,000
If you like the lifestyle that comes with 5th Avenue South, there are opportunities to live right on the Avenue. Today there are 10 condominiums that are on the market, with 5 of them being in two individual buildings that are each within 4 blocks of the beach. Each of these 5 units have 2 bedrooms and 2 baths, with between 1,100 and 1,600 square feet, with list prices ranging from $625,000 up to $880,000. Three other condos are on the corner with 9th Street, going from around 1,200 square feet and a $645,000 price tag, up to $975,000 for 1,900 square feet. On the 700 block there are 2 more units for sale, with one being a top floor (third) home with over 1,500 square feet under air priced at $1.225 million, while the other is roughly 300 square feet larger and listed for $70,000 more. If you really want to go all out, just a block from the Gulf there is a single family home that is listed for $8.350 million that has in excess of 7,300 square feet which includes 4 bedrooms, den, 4 full baths and 2 half baths.
"The Lookout." A fantastic beachfront opportunity in the heart of Old Naples. This newer construction private residence is located directly behind the fine shopping and dining of Third Street South. Set on the sugar sand beach with 108 ft. of frontage, this 2010 built five bedroom, two den home epitomizes in-town living. The concrete block four-story design ensures total privacy from within the grounds, while offering breathtaking views of the Gulf and the Naples Pier. Panoramic views of the Gulf are yours from the master suite with a large sitting area and outdoor deck. On the top level there is a separate suite that is elevator accessible with kitchenette and full bath, outdoor deck and huge water views. Entertain outside by the large pool with substantial green space. Stroll the beach at sunset and then walk to dinner. This new home offers an unparalleled, all-encompassing coastal lifestyle and offered to you at $11.750
Another of these small communities that is very similar to 5th Avenue South is 3rd Street South, an area of about 6 square blocks running north to south from Broad Avenue to 14th Avenue South and the border to Aqualane Shores. The quality and diversity of the shops, galleries and restaurants in this area are on a par with any neighborhood in the country, and as with its cousin ½ mile to the north, there is ample free parking available.
Located just a couple of blocks from the fun and excitement of 3rd Street South is Palm Cottage. Built in 1895, it is the oldest house in Naples and it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1982. This 2 story structure was built for Walter N. Haldeman, a newspaper magnate from Louisville, Kentucky. It is constructed of a type of “hand-made concrete consisting of sand, shells and water”. The Naples Historical Society owns Palm Cottage and operates it as a museum, with guided tours to show and share insights to the “hand-crafted charm of Old Naples”. The house has been decorated to show how it looked in the early 1900’s and to reflect the “authentic charm” of that era.
Right next door to Palm Cottage is its “perfect complement”, Norris Gardens. The Gardens were originally created by Ed Crayton, the individual who designed the city, however they were funded by the Norris Family (therefore the name). The idea behind them was to exhibit the different plants as they were “introduced to the city’s landscape through time”. There are five areas in the Gardens depicting distinct themes:
- Garden of the Senses
- Pioneer Garden
- Palm Collector’s Garden
- Edible Garden
- Shade Garden
The “Patron’s Walk” provides a beautiful passageway through all the gardens, with benches along the way to relax and enjoy nature’s scenery.
One block due west on 12th Avenue South is one of the most famous and photographed landmarks in all of Florida, Naples Pier. This historic site was built in 1888 and was used primarily as an unloading dock for passengers and freight by using train rails that ran the length of the dock. The building of the structure was necessitated because the ship that was supposed to have been used to bring these travelers and cargo to the city through Gordon’s Pass was unable to get past the existing sandbar at low tide. This would have required the use of shuttles for the necessary transport. The erection of the pier alleviated this need during periods of low tide, making scheduling of shipments more convenient and cost effective. In the early 1900’s there was a United States Post Office located on the Pier until it was done in by fire in 1922. Other uses for the facility throughout the years has been as a “lookout” station during WW II, and as a “dance hall” on many Saturday nights.
Today the Pier is used for people watching as well as sight seeing, as it is a great place to catch glimpses of pelicans, seabirds, dolphins, stingrays and a wide variety of fish. Fishing from the pier is another favored pastime, as no state fishing license is required, due to the city purchasing a bulk license for the entire pier. The pier also provides one of the best places to watch the fabulous sunsets for which the city is famous.
Presently Naples Pier is undergoing its 5th renovation in its 127 year history, although safety has always been the utmost priority with planks being routinely being inspected and replaced. This immense undertaking which commenced in July, right after the fireworks display on the 4th, is expected to be completed by the end of October or early November. The timing of the project was selected due to the reduced traffic normally experienced during this period, so as not to have an impact on the higher density tourist “season”, with as little inconvenience to local traffic as possible. Last year Naples Pier attracted a total of nearly 1.1 million visitors.
One of the major factors of this renovation is the construction of new restrooms, particularly the women’s, where space is more than doubled and a diaper changing station with a separate entrance has been added. It will also include replacing all the planks, plumbing, railings, lights and electric circuitry, and using stainless steel whenever possible in order to lessen corrosion.
The deck is one of the more fascinating aspects of this improvement, starting with its composition. It was decided to use a Brazilian walnut, “IPE”, which should last around twice as long (about 30 years) as the normal composite wood planks. It is more expensive and a bit more difficult to work with, however it is so dense that it can stand up to the weather and traffic that must be experienced, while having the same “fire rating as concrete and steel”. Another item of note is that the deck is being constructed in 30 foot sections in Ft. Myers, and then these pieces will be put onto a barge. This barge will then be pushed by a tug boat down the coast to Naples and the Pier area. The estimate for the trip is roughly 5 hours from Ft. Myers, and at least two trips will be necessary. Once on site a large crane will be used to off load and then insert these 30 foot sections in place.
Another note of interest regarding Naples Pier and the beaches of Naples Florida is that all the lighting will be “turtle friendly”, meaning that there will be nothing to distract these creatures from the light shining on the water, with the intent of protecting all natural resources. Visitors can learn many different aspects of life of a turtle and their nesting habits, as well as information relating to other native wildlife, through a TV monitor situated on the pier.
Olde Naples also has its side on Naples Bay, providing for great views as well boating opportunities for the enthusiast. There are a number of marinas, along with Crayton Cove, which is home of the Naples City Dock, Naples Yacht Club and the Cove Inn, an intimate waterfront hotel. Boat charters for sightseeing the fabulous mansions of Port Royal, or for fishing the 10,000 Islands or the Gulf of Mexico are easily available.
Unlike the neighbors to the north such as Coquina Sands, Moorings and Park Shore, there are no condominiums directly on the beach in Olde Naples. The largest condo presently for sale in the community is listed for $2.50 million. This is a 2 story home with more than 4,800 square feet of living area which includes 3 bedrooms, den and 3.5 baths. Located 1 ½ blocks from 5th Avenue South and 6 blocks from the beach, this unit features a private elevator and 2 car garage.
Absolutely stunning Port Royal residence located on one and one half Port Royal lots. Immaculately maintained home with among the very best long water views in Port Royal. Unimpeded views from the gourmet kitchen and expansive family room to the exciting outside pool and multiple entertainment areas. Sophisticated security system and an award winning theater. One of the most expansive docking facilities in Port Royal. The adjacent residence on lot 21 may also be available for separate purchase.Offered at $14.750
If you want to live on the beach in Olde Naples Naples Florida, there is one single family home that is for sale. It is situated on 12th Avenue South, next to Naples Pier. This is a 4 story manor that was constructed 5 years ago that has over 6,500 square feet under air, with 5 bedrooms, 2 dens and 5.5 baths. With an asking price of $11.750 million, this property features pool, 4 car garage, and 108 feet Gulf of Mexico shoreline.
Isla Mar is a luxury condominium located within walking distance to everything that makes Old Naples wonderful including the beach, 3rd Street shops, 5th Avenue South, Cambier Park and Norris Tennis Center, Crayton Cove and the Naples Pier. This condo (end unit) features south and west exposure and a open floor plan making it light and bright. If you don't feel like dining in one of the many top rated restaurants in the neighborhood then the stone floors, granite counters and a gas cook top are perfect for a chef. This terrific condo boasts the unique amenity of an attached 2 car garage with a huge loft for extra storage. Many upgrades have been made by the seller including electric shutters, dehumidifier w/ heppa clean-air filter, surround sound, security system and a private patio/extra parking space. Spacious screened lanai overlooks the large pool/spa providing convenient access to plenty of outdoor space. Isla Mar is pet friendly! Offered for $1.135
For those of you who enjoy a bit of the old, there are currently 5 homes remaining in Olde Naples that were built in the 1950's and 7 remaining that were built in the 1960's. They range in price from $995,000 to $3.750. These charming "cottages" can be your perfect vacation get away or can be the site of your new custom home.
Completely renovated, just under 1,600 sq. ft with a 1 bedroom and 1 bath guest cottage. 1957 look to the outside but 2014 on the inside. Offered for $1.450
Completely renovated in 2010 this beach cottage sits on 3/4 of an acre with a panoramic view of the Naples Beach Hotel's fabulous golf course. Built in 1969. Offered for $1.850
This blog was originally written on September 29, 2015. For current MLS information please click on any link within the blog or click here http://ChrisAndDick.com
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