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769 Fifth Avenue South

A 19,675-square-foot retail and office building sold for $27 million in downtown Naples in an off-market deal.

The sale amounts to $1,372 per square foot, well above the typical $225 per square foot of office space in the rest of Southwest Florida.

That’s the kind of cachet Fifth Avenue South has in Naples. Nighthawk Group 765 LLC closed on the purchase at 765 Fifth Ave. S. On May 16, buying it from GCS Mom’s LLC.

In Southwest Florida, the typical price per square foot for a new medical office can be in the $300 to $350 per-square-foot range, said Nelson Taylor, vice president of market research at LSI Companies, which was not involved in this deal but was providing some perspective. A decent office will cost $200 to $250 per square foot, and an old office would be in the $150 to $200 per-square-foot range, putting the Fifth Avenue South property price at least six times the average office in the region.

“It’s a big number,” said Rob Carroll, who brokered the deal along with Patrick Fraley of Investment Properties Corp. on behalf of the buyer. David Stevens, also of IPC, represented the seller.

“I think it’s indicative of the power of Fifth Avenue,” Carroll said. “I think Fifth Avenue has kind of risen to the top location in the Naples area. It has become the iconic face of Naples. In the last several years, it’s grown in attention and status from national retailers. If you are a luxury retail brand, and you want to take advantage of the Naples market, it’s really where you’ve got to be.”

There’s retail on the ground floor and offices on the second floor. Wind in the Willows, a boutique clothing and gift shop, is anchor tenant on the ground floor, while John R. Wood Properties, a real estate company, is on the second floor.

Both the sellers and the buyers have ties to longtime real estate investors in Naples. Jim Smith and his family, longtime Naples investors, had owned the property.

“They’re fixtures in the area,” Carroll said. “They’re well-known and well-thought of in town. They’ve been owners on Fifth Avenue for a long time.”

Nighthawk Group 765 LLC is an investment company owned by Bruce Barone Sr. and family. The corporation has an address of a property owned by Bruce Barone Jr., executive director of the Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District.

Carroll and Barone Sr. said there were no immediate plans for the building.

“In the interim, nothing,” Carroll said. “There aren’t any immediate plans for the building. I think that the owner likes the asset and the location and wanted a trophy piece of real estate on Fifth Avenue, and he got it.”

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