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Downtown Naples lot

Naples-based Northern Capital Investments made a good investment with the purchase of a vacant lot in downtown Naples that it resold in less than five months for $12 million, nearly doubling its money.

On Friday, the Augusterra Group LLC, based in the Tampa Bay area, purchased the nearly three-quarter acre property at 331 Eighth St. S. from NDTL LLC, 711 Fifth Ave. for $12 million. Northern Capital Investments, doing business as NDTL LLC on Fifth Avenue South had just purchased the 0.73-acre vacant lot on Dec. 28 for $6.5 million from Fort Myers Broadcasting Co. Both transactions were off-market deals, meaning neither had been listed for sale.

While not exactly considered a flip because the original purchaser had development plans for the property, the May 20 real estate transaction is a head-turner even for Naples. “The velocity of the Naples real estate market is like something I’ve never seen,” said Jay Barnes, vice president of development for Northern Capital Investments. “Within weeks of closing on the property, we received multiple offers to turn around and sell. We received an offer we couldn’t refuse and have sold our interest in the property. I’m not certain, but I believe the next developer is planning something similar to our design.”

Northern Capital had planned to begin construction next year on 331 of Naples, 12 luxury condominiums over retail shops on that lot just one block north of Fifth Avenue South. The development plans followed suit with a series of similar mixed-use projects by other developers stretching south from Central Avenue along the eastern edge of Eighth Street South.

The Augusterra Group, led by managing member William B. Yeomans Jr., could not be reached for comment on its plans for the property. Yeomans also is the managing member of The Brookline Companies, behind many development projects in the area, including Stella Naples, which will feature 10 luxury residences on two floors above a small collection of shops and offices on the ground level on Ninth Street just south of Central Avenue.

Rob Carroll of Investment Properties Corp., who negotiated the most recent transaction on Eighth Street with colleague David J. Stevens, said the property’s development plans are still up in the air but he expects the Augusterra Group also to build a mix of commercial and residential there. 

“They definitely plan to move forward with development,” Carroll said. “I think it’s development that will be in line with and appropriate with the surrounding uses.”

That lot between Third and Fourth Avenue South previously was home to Meridian Broadcasting’s WINK TV offices, which were razed by the company in late 2014. The regional broadcasting company purchased the land in December 1996 for $1.2 million, records show.

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