Preservation of Naples Seaside Hotel and Golf Program in Florida under city council’s evaluation

The city of Naples is examining options to bolster the easement that would maintain the golf training course at the Naples Seashore Resort & Golfing Club, the Naples Each day Information claimed.

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The Naples Metropolis Council approved the using the services of of the Ausley McMullen legislation company in September for $50,000 to examine solutions associated to the easement, which was portion of the acceptance to redevelop the hotel assets in 2019.

At a community conference very last thirty day period, the town council approved a different $50,000 cost for the Tallahassee-dependent law company to end the project on behalf of the metropolis.

Ausley McMullen is “exploring possibilities with regard to feasible revisions to the easement proposed to be given for preservation of the land affiliated with the golfing system,” Jim Fox, the city attorney, claimed in an e mail to the Each day News.

When the Naples City Council accredited the strategy to redevelop the resort house in 2019, the council also voted to settle for an easement from the developer, The Athens Group, that would make it possible for the town to protect the golf course as open inexperienced place into the foreseeable future.

The council at the time chose not to consist of a 3rd bash, this kind of as a group group, in the agreement for the easement.

Naples Councilman Paul Perry, who in 2019 was the president of the Aqualane Shores Association, stated that choice removed an enforcement system must a the city council determine to abandon the inexperienced place in the foreseeable future. A 3rd party related to the easement could hold the city council accountable in the long term to make sure the room is preserved, Perry said.

The new city council chose to revisit the easement just after the town election in March, Perry mentioned.

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

“Once I obtained on council, customers had been in help of reversing that. Which is why we resolved to go get some special skills in easement enforcement,” Perry said. “We’re not trying to rejigger the restrictions on it. We’re not redoing any of that. All we’re carrying out is getting the enforcement mechanism secured.”

Councilman Ray Christman claimed he also observed an curiosity among the the town council in wanting again at the easement immediately after the city council elections this yr.

“I, for just one, but I feel many others agreed as well, that it was acceptable to revisit this concern, to see no matter whether there is means it can be strengthened to secure the assets as open room in perpetuity,” Christman reported.

Recent meetings with neighbors about how the developer will manage development have stirred up new problems about how the golfing system and other undeveloped land may well be altered.

In the course of a collection of local community outreach conferences, questions arose about the golf study course and other land that The Athens Team promised to preserve from the starting. The developer insists that its agreements with the metropolis will not allow for it to decrease the total of open house, so there should really be no fear about that.

“The 104 acres of open house are indeed remaining preserved for recreation and open-space utilizes, as outlined and essential in the entitlements that were accepted by Naples City Council,” explained Jay Newman, CEO of The Athens Team, in an email.

 “Golf and tennis will continue on to be section of individuals uses.”

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Young children observe a triathlon at Naples Seaside Lodge and Golfing Club in Florida. (Dorothy Edwards, Naples Everyday News)

However, there are community and local community concerns with the recreational system for the challenge still to be finalized.

Jack Ladley, who owns a household throughout the street from the hotel, reported he and other neighbors are worried the developer could possibly decrease the dimension of the golfing class, chopping it from 18 holes to 10 or 15. He plays the study course and does not want to see any radical adjustments to it.

He attended one particular of the developer’s latest outreach conferences, wherever new possibilities for the open up space came up, which includes the addition of much more leisure works by using, this kind of as volleyball, pickleball and basketball and other functions this kind of as a golf faculty or miniature golf.

“For the very first time they started out conversing about redoing the size of the golfing program, not having 18 holes,” Ladley explained.

He pointed out that the recent entrepreneurs reworked and upgraded the iconic course just a handful of many years in the past, with the help of golf legend Jack Nicklaus, who played on the course as a child. Nicklaus, a foremost class designer, has created hundreds of them throughout the world.

The revamp of the hotel’s par-71 golf training course, accomplished in 2016, charge the present owners $9 million.

“It’s not a cruddy, worn out study course,” Ladley explained.

That’s why he reported he does not see why the developer may well want to transform it, when almost everything is like new at the program, which some have dubbed Naples’ Central Park.

“It’s good to be capable to have a golfing program and search out on to it. I assume that everyone required to preserve that open up space for so lots of motives,” Ladley claimed.

As for the developer’s construction administration prepare, he explained it looks to be nicely prepared out.

The system was made in collaboration with a “knowledgeable and experienced” standard contractor in Southwest Florida, Newman reported.

“It was vetted with the metropolis and its numerous departments in advance of we shared the prepare with the neighborhood for their enter,” he reported.

The developer held 9 in-particular person conferences and a person Zoom meeting as aspect of its group outreach, which drew nearly 250 neighbors and other community citizens with interest in the job.

Based on all those local community conferences, The Athens Group has refined its construction administration strategies. People alterations include things like relocating the design entrance so that it sits instantly off U.S. 41 fairly than South Golf Push, resolving concerns about included traffic on the neighborhood road, Newman claimed.

“We appear forward to continuing to perform with the city and all stakeholders, together with our project neighbors, as plans for the new Naples Seashore Club lodge, golf training course and residences proceed to create,” he claimed.

The venture is continuing to advance ahead of the developer’s prepared acquisition of the residence in May well of upcoming yr.

“We are happy to report that we carry on to be on schedule for the venture,” Newman explained.

Design is envisioned to start off shortly immediately after the closing. The first phase, which includes redevelopment of the lodge, is scheduled for completion at the end of 2023, in accordance to a site on the program to redevelop the lodge assets.

The City Council gave the venture its remaining thumbs up about a year ago, voting 6-1 in favor of changes to the first growth program for the residences as effectively as the accompanying internet site prepare.

Councilman Terry Hutchison was the lone dissenter. Ahead of his vote, he claimed he noticed the redevelopment venture as a single of the city’s greatest achievements, but it came with “one of our most significant issues.”

The councilman explained all the suitable men and women are concerned in the project, together with a major-notch progress staff, but the protections to be certain the golf training course did not go far ample for him to vote in favor of the amended enhancement plan.

“There is no issue that this was a great option for our neighborhood,” he mentioned at the time. “Did we get it correct? In my view, we didn’t. We missed our prospect to adequately protected the 100-in addition acres of recreation, open up room for generations to occur.”

As the developer’s obtain of the home draws nearer, the lodge has announced it will near its doorways on May possibly 23, 2021, and its longtime house owners are encouraging faithful guests to return and other folks who have hardly ever frequented to working experience what it has to give just before time runs out.

The Watkins household has owned the hotel for many years. In that time, Michael Watkins, the resort’s president and an operator, stated his spouse and children has taken pleasure in its custom of giving exceptional hospitality to its attendees.

“We seem forward to celebrating our last season with our company and patrons this wintertime and spring,” he explained.

For those who just can’t check out, the hotel’s beach front and renowned sunsets can be found on its webcam by checking out


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