The developer building a townhome community in East Naples intends to restart the residential project, which has been stalled since the early stages of the pandemic.
Onyx Townhome Villas masonry was completed for two of the eight two-story townhome buildings and the gated community’s clubhouse, but the majority of the 48-unit project has yet to be started on 8.7 acres on the corner of Santa Barbara Boulevard and Polly Avenue, about a half-mile north of Rattlesnake Hammock Road. The project stalled in 2020 when the developer was unable to travel here from South America because of travel restrictions during the pandemic, according to the owner’s representative, Claro Development Solutions, a Miami company that specializes in providing development services and construction management to owners and developers.
Also contributing to construction delays were a developer split and a shift in partnership and ownership, said Roberto C. Matarraz, a Miami resident who also represents property owner Polly Ave LLC in working to resurrect the project. “I’m helping them restart the project. We are analyzing every possibility right now,” he said. “Everything is in motion but everything looks like we’re going to do it.”
In March, the Collier County government found the Onyx development in violation of expired building permits. The staff of the county’s Growth Management Community Development Department ordered that the “respondent must abate the violation by obtaining all building permits, a demolition permit, inspections and certificates of completion/occupancy on or before April 13, 2022, or a fine of $550 per day will be imposed for each day the violations remain thereafter.” The Onyx Group requested a continuance until Nov. 26 to fully comply with the order.
The previous general contractor license for the project expired in February. In mid-April, a change of contractor notification was filed by Claro with the Growth Management Department to extend the building permits for the unfinished clubhouse and two residential buildings. The building permits issued in December 2020 are current with a Nov. 22 expiration date, however, each must pass inspection within the next six months to stay active, said Connie Deane, the county’s community liaison.
The continuance order allows the Onyx developer more time to obtain compliance, but fines continue to accrue daily. An imposition hearing is anticipated no sooner than December when the county’s code enforcement board will weigh mitigating factors and assess fines accordingly.
In addition to expired permits, the unfinished construction project has had six code enforcement complaints since October 2020 but all issues have been resolved or closed, county records show. Violations included a damaged and unmaintained silt fence, grass and weeds taller than 18 inches and litter accumulation.
Onyx, named for the precious stone, is marketed on its website and social media as a luxury “development that promises to become the new gem of Naples.” The community of three- and four-bedroom villas with individual garages includes a private clubhouse with a resort-style pool and a fully equipped gym as well as a social membership at Classics Country Club at Lely Resort.
Polly Ave LLC investors are still not sure if the townhomes will be leased or sold but construction recently restarted on the clubhouse, Matarraz said.
“We are working to reactivate everything,” he said. “Where we stand right now, we are in the due diligence process. Hopefully, we can start this year and finish the project.”