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Collier County

Luxury residence

The One Naples luxury condominium redevelopment project has been rebranded as The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Naples. The project from developer Stock Residences, featuring a collection of 128 residences at Vanderbilt Beach Road and Gulf Shore Drive, will be on 6 acres with a pair of 12-story buildings, two mid-rise buildings, an adjacent 22-slip, full-service marina and a fifth mid-rise building.

The condos start at $2.5 million and will feature expansive terraces, contemporary European-style kitchens and baths, Cambria quartz countertops, 10- to 12-foot ceilings, porcelain and wood floors and private elevator entrances. The amenities and services include an exclusive concierge and The Vanderbilt Club, a 28,000-square-foot club with a Grand Owner’s atrium and lobby lounge, private restaurant, business center and coffee lounge, fitness center and a full-service spa. The Residences will include a marina with Gulf access, a dockmaster and gas service, and a park with walking trails, a putting green, a dog-walking area and covered pavilions. The outdoor amenities will include a resort-style pool, lap pool, cabana suites and fire pits. Residents also will have prime access to the public Vanderbilt Beach across the street.

Construction for The Residences is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2023, with completion expected in 2025.

Pickleball power

The Southwest Florida pickleball industry is receiving a $670,000 grant from Collier County’s tourist development tax, which was unanimously approved by the Board of County Commissioners.

Naples is often referred to as the pickleball capital of the country, as East Naples Community Park is home to the internationally renowned Minto U.S. Open Pickleball Championships, taking place in April each year.

The grant money will go toward renovating the pickleball courts at East Naples Community Park, along with beautifying the surrounding space.

The park had nine permanent pickleball courts when co-founders of the U.S. Open Pickleball Championships Terri Graham and Chris Evon held their first 800-player event in 2016. Now, the park contains 64 courts, with the 2022 tournament hosting 3,000 players and 35,000 spectators.

Lee County

Carousel turns to twelve

The Carousel Beach Inn on Fort Myers Beach, which sold in November for $7 million, is becoming a luxury residential development called Gulfside Twelve.

Tim O’Neill, CEO of Dublin Real Estate Developing Group LLC, is in charge of the project, which has been in the planning stages since as early as October 2021.

Some locals have expressed concern about the direction the beach might be heading, considering that the development’s prices are expected to start at $4 million a unit. O’Neill, who said he is well aware of people’s concerns, is planning to build a product that fits into the community. The goal of Gulfside Twelve is to enhance Fort Myers Beach, not upstage it, O’Neill said.

Bridging financial gaps

After being destroyed by Hurricane Ian, the Seminole Gulf Railway is in need of public and government funding to restore the Peace River and Caloosahatchee River railway bridges.

So far, the railway is spending about $6 million in restoring the damaged Peace River bridges, and Seminole Gulf Railway Executive Vice President Robert Fay hopes access across the Peace River will be restored by the end of January. Fixing the bridges across the Caloosahatchee River would restore the railway’s access to North Naples, but the railway doesn’t have the funds to make those repairs.

Congressman Byron Donalds is looking into a bill that would help railroads during emergencies, Donalds’ staff said.

The railway needs about $10 million to complete repairs to the bridges over the Caloosahatchee River within a few months rather than a year or more, Fay said. If the Seminole Gulf Railway has to do it on its own, it will take more than a year to reopen service to Fort Myers.

Established in 1987, the railway transports all sorts of supplies, especially lumber and drywall to repair homes, from all over North America and Mexico into Southwest Florida.

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