Iconic Naples Beach Club Sells for $362 Million

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The Naples Beach Club’s sale price of $362 million is public record. The exact price of $362,289,599 was recorded in Collier County, where the iconic property changed hands Thursday. 

The Athens Group, which owns luxury hotels across the country, including a Four Seasons Resorts in Hawaii and a Ritz-Carlton resort in Half Moon Bay, California, will bring the Four Seasons brand to Naples. 

The Watkins family had owned the Naples Beach Club since 1946. Neither the buyer nor the seller would agree to be interviewed. 

But the sale price likely fell below market value, based on the number of units, the 125 acres and the amenities – including a golf course – and its waterfront location, said Matt Simmons, a property appraiser with Maxwell, Hendry & Simmons. 

There are 185 luxury residences and a 216-room resort planned for the property off Gulf Shore Boulevard, a news release said, a short walk from 1,000 feet of beach access along the Gulf of Mexico. 

MSD Partners, an investment firm with Dell computer mogul Michael Dell on board, played a part in the financing. 

“For what all that property can be, that’s a really good deal,” Simmons says. 

Simmons noted the nearby Mansion House in Naples, a waterfront condo building with about 90 units. It has been on the market with an asking price of $165 million. 

“The price of the Naples Beach Club, it’s pretty reasonable based on some of the other deals that are out there,” says Simmons, who was not an adviser on this deal. “The Naples Beach Club property, there’s a lot of amenities there. 

“It’s really all about the cash flow and whether the product you’re producing is going to make sense. While the numbers seem kind of crazy on deals like this, it’s been thoroughly vetted. The buyer on that purchase had a significant amount of equity. They know what they’re doing. They’re buying it at a rate that’s below what a street-level investor can buy it for.” 

Having a partner company of the caliber of MSD Partners, Simmons said, gets deals like this done. 

“Boiling it down, they are less risky from the bank’s perspective,” he says. “There’s a bunch of big-boy groups who do these deals. They just have the ability to make projects cash flow. Where other people couldn’t necessarily.” 

Simmons compared it to a deal being done in reverse. “You start with the end in mind,” Simmons says. “By the time this is developed and redone, how would the market react to this piece of property? They look at that more than the value in the present. Properties like this are not being bought just because you want to own a trophy piece of property. It has to make sense based on the kind of income it will be producing.” 

There were some legal hurdles that held up the sale. Those were not addressed in the news release. Details on when some of the existing buildings would be demolished were not available. 

Hart Howerton, an architectural firm, will design up to 185 homes on the property, with Champalimaud Design doing the interiors. The first phase will have 58 beachfront residences with four beach houses, four penthouses and 12 golfside residences. 

“The Residences at Naples Beach Club will set a new standard for Naples living, located in the heart of the vibrant Naples community, while also providing owners with an intimate club experience located directly outside their door,” Michael Meldman, chairman of Discovery Land Company, said in a news release. 

Construction will begin next year. 

The project is a game-changer for Naples, said Greg Economos, realtor with William Raveis Real Estate. “Having a property like the Naples Beach Hotel come into this market being run by the Four Seasons, it’s really amazing, and I mean it raises the bar for Naples as a luxury property area for the Gulf Coast,” Economos says. “When you look at some of the luxury properties within Florida on the east coast, I think Naples is getting up to that level. 

“We’ve got great amenities in Naples. We’ve got incredible golf. We’ve got pickleball. We’ve got incredible, white-sand beaches. And the restaurants you find here on Fifth Avenue and Third Street are really amazing. They’re getting up to that level you would expect here in town.” 

WINK News reporter Rachel Cox-Rosen contributed to this report. 

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