Preservation of Naples Seaside Lodge and Golfing Course in Florida beneath town council’s overview

The city of Naples is examining alternatives to bolster the easement that would maintain the…

The city of Naples is examining alternatives to bolster the easement that would maintain the golfing study course at the Naples Beach Lodge & Golf Club, the Naples Day-to-day Information described.



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The Naples Metropolis Council authorized the using the services of of the Ausley McMullen legislation business in September for $50,000 to take a look at choices associated to the easement, which was section of the approval to redevelop the hotel house in 2019.

At a general public meeting past month, the city council accredited a further $50,000 expenditure for the Tallahassee-centered law business to finish the challenge on behalf of the city.

Ausley McMullen is “exploring possibilities with respect to possible revisions to the easement proposed to be provided for preservation of the land related with the golfing training course,” Jim Fox, the town lawyer, explained in an e-mail to the Every day News.

When the Naples Metropolis Council permitted the plan to redevelop the resort house in 2019, the council also voted to settle for an easement from the developer, The Athens Team, that would permit the city to preserve the golfing system as open up eco-friendly place into the long term.

The council at the time chose not to include things like a 3rd party, this kind of as a community team, in the agreement for the easement.

Naples Councilman Paul Perry, who in 2019 was the president of the Aqualane Shores Affiliation, reported that selection taken out an enforcement mechanism really should a the town council make a decision to abandon the inexperienced area in the foreseeable future. A 3rd get together connected to the easement could hold the town council accountable in the potential to assure the space is preserved, Perry said.

The new town council selected to revisit the easement soon after the metropolis election in March, Perry mentioned.



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Naples Beach Lodge and Golf Club in Florida (Courtesy of Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club)

“Once I bought on council, users ended up in help of reversing that. That’s why we decided to go get some particular expertise in easement enforcement,” Perry reported. “We’re not attempting to rejigger the constraints on it. We’re not redoing any of that. All we’re accomplishing is obtaining the enforcement mechanism secured.”

Councilman Ray Christman explained he also observed an fascination between the town council in wanting all over again at the easement right after the metropolis council elections this calendar year.

“I, for just one, but I believe other people agreed as nicely, that it was suitable to revisit this issue, to see irrespective of whether there’s ways it can be strengthened to safeguard the property as open up area in perpetuity,” Christman claimed.

Modern conferences with neighbors about how the developer will control construction have stirred up new issues about how the golf system and other undeveloped land may well be altered.

All through a series of neighborhood outreach conferences, questions arose about the golf system and other land that The Athens Group promised to protect from the beginning. The developer insists that its agreements with the city won’t permit it to lower the sum of open house, so there ought to be no be concerned about that.

“The 104 acres of open up place are in fact staying preserved for recreation and open-place works by using, as described and demanded in the entitlements that have been permitted by Naples Metropolis Council,” stated Jay Newman, CEO of The Athens Team, in an electronic mail.

 “Golf and tennis will proceed to be element of all those uses.”



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Little ones enjoy a triathlon at Naples Seaside Resort and Golf Club in Florida. (Dorothy Edwards, Naples Everyday News)

Nevertheless, there are neighborhood and neighborhood concerns with the leisure system for the job nevertheless to be finalized.

Jack Ladley, who owns a home across the street from the resort, claimed he and other neighbors are nervous the developer may possibly cut down the dimensions of the golf class, slicing it from 18 holes to 10 or 15. He performs the course and does not want to see any radical improvements to it.

He attended one particular of the developer’s recent outreach conferences, exactly where new prospects for the open up space arrived up, including the addition of more leisure takes advantage of, these types of as volleyball, pickleball and basketball and other capabilities these kinds of as a golfing school or miniature golf.

“For the to start with time they started off conversing about redoing the dimensions of the golfing course, not possessing 18 holes,” Ladley explained.

He pointed out that the present homeowners reworked and upgraded the iconic system just a number of many years ago, with the assistance of golfing legend Jack Nicklaus, who played on the training course as a kid. Nicklaus, a main training course designer, has produced hundreds of them around the globe.

The revamp of the hotel’s par-71 golfing class, done in 2016, expense the existing house owners $9 million.

“It’s not a cruddy, drained class,” Ladley reported.

That is why he said he does not see why the developer could want to improve it, when everything is like new at the study course, which some have dubbed Naples’ Central Park.

“It’s pleasant to be in a position to have a golfing system and glimpse out on to it. I think that every person needed to maintain that open room for so lots of reasons,” Ladley explained.

As for the developer’s development administration plan, he claimed it seems to be effectively prepared out.

The program was made in collaboration with a “knowledgeable and experienced” basic contractor in Southwest Florida, Newman mentioned.

“It was vetted with the city and its various departments ahead of we shared the plan with the neighborhood for their input,” he stated.

The developer held nine in-person conferences and a person Zoom meeting as section of its neighborhood outreach, which drew almost 250 neighbors and other group inhabitants with curiosity in the venture.

Based on people neighborhood meetings, The Athens Team has refined its design management strategies. Those people variations incorporate relocating the design entrance so that it sits specifically off U.S. 41 instead than South Golfing Drive, resolving considerations about included site visitors on the community road, Newman stated.

“We look forward to continuing to operate with the city and all stakeholders, including our job neighbors, as designs for the new Naples Seashore Club hotel, golf class and residences proceed to create,” he reported.

The project is continuing to advance in advance of the developer’s prepared acquisition of the assets in May well of upcoming yr.

“We are happy to report that we continue on to be on routine for the project,” Newman stated.

Construction is envisioned to begin shortly soon after the closing. The 1st stage, including redevelopment of the lodge, is scheduled for completion at the stop of 2023, according to a website on the approach to redevelop the lodge property.

The Town Council gave the task its last thumbs up about a calendar year in the past, voting 6-1 in favor of improvements to the authentic development plan for the residences as well as the accompanying internet site program.

Councilman Terry Hutchison was the lone dissenter. Right before his vote, he explained he observed the redevelopment project as just one of the city’s biggest achievements, but it came with “one of our most important mistakes.”

The councilman said all the correct men and women are involved in the venture, such as a best-notch progress staff, but the protections to guarantee the golf system didn’t go much enough for him to vote in favor of the amended progress system.

“There is no query that this was a great opportunity for our neighborhood,” he said at the time. “Did we get it right? In my opinion, we did not. We skipped our chance to properly secure the 100-moreover acres of recreation, open space for generations to come.”

As the developer’s invest in of the property draws nearer, the hotel has declared it will close its doorways on Might 23, 2021, and its longtime proprietors are encouraging faithful guests to return and other people who have never visited to experience what it has to present ahead of time runs out.

The Watkins family members has owned the resort for a long time. In that time, Michael Watkins, the resort’s president and an operator, stated his relatives has taken satisfaction in its tradition of furnishing exceptional hospitality to its attendees.

“We appear ahead to celebrating our last season with our attendees and patrons this wintertime and spring,” he said.

For these who cannot stop by, the hotel’s beach front and renowned sunsets can be found on its webcam by browsing naplesbeachhotel.com.

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