In fourth quarter, 2013, The Ronto Group received final approval from the City of Naples for the development of Naples Square, a community at the intersection of 5th Avenue South and Goodlette-Frank Road in downtown Naples. Since then, Ronto’s vision of a walkable, bikeable community that would bring a sense of cohesion to downtown by connecting 5th Avenue to Bayfront with access on 10th Street via 3rd Avenue South and provide homeowners with immediate access to the beach and downtown’s dining, shopping, and entertainment venues has transformed how people live in Naples’ world-renowned downtown district. That vision continues to unfold, and was marked by numerous milestones in 2016.
In July, 2014, Ronto broke ground on Naples Square Phase I. By January, 2016, just 18 months later, Naples Square’s first residents were moving in and Ronto announced the completion of the community’s three initial fully-furnished models in the Phase I building. While the models have sold, they remain open for viewing through guided tours with a sales associate. Throughout 2016, construction of the Phase II building that started in November, 2015 progressed at a rapid pace. Now, 73 Phase II residences are on schedule for completion next month, and less than 10 of the Phase II residences remain available for purchase.
As the Naples Square lifestyle continued to captivate homebuyers, Ronto introduced its Phase III offering in March, 2016. Eight Phase III floor plans ranging from 1,460 to 3,238 square feet under air are base-priced from $695,000 to $1,550,000. The one and two story, two and three bedroom plus den plans feature newly designed, enlarged, and re-named iterations of the Phase I residences and showcase light-filled, open concept living areas and open-air balconies. Twenty reservations worth more than $25 million have been processed for Phase III residences. Six of the eight floor plans remain available.
Named recipient of the Naples Daily News’ 2016 People’s Choice Award for Best Developer, Ronto has been committed to the notion that choice, finish, and ambiance matter at Naples Square. As was the case in Phases I and II, the Phase III floor plan choices are suited to individuals, empty-nesters, retirees, and families, either as a full-time residence or as a Naples pied-a-terre. The Phase III residences will present the luxurious finishes that are Ronto’s hallmark at Naples Square, including porcelain tile flooring in the living areas, kitchens and baths in sizes up to 24” x 24”, 8-foot solid core interior doors, 8-foot exterior and sliding glass doors, contemporary, lever-style door hardware, 8-inch clean-lined baseboards, 7-inch crown molding per plan, ventilated wood shelving in the bedroom, linen and pantry closets, and separate laundry rooms with a Whirlpool Duet front load washer and dryer and a utility sink in most plans. Phase III’s open kitchens will feature an enhanced appliance package with a gas cooktop and hood and a wall mounted oven and microwave. European frameless construction, full-overlay cabinetry with a variety of door profiles, finish selections and hardware, a stainless steel, under-mount sink with a pull-out spray faucet, and multiple granite and quartz countertop options that are three centimeters thick are included. The master baths feature marble-topped vanities with dual sinks, large showers with bench seats and glass enclosures, soaking tubs with most floor plans, and a separate water closet room.
Phase III residents will enjoy a re-designed courtyard amenity deck with an enlarged pool deck and a 780 square foot pool that is 29% larger than the pools in the Phase I and Phase II buildings. Gas grills and seating areas with firepits will enhance the outdoor cooking and socializing experience. A club room and a terrace will open to the pool area and include a bar, large screen television, a billiards room, and a furnished fire pit area on the courtyard level. Other amenities include a fitness center, secure under-building parking, private storage, and bicycle storage within the garage.
Naples Square has enhanced the look and feel of Naples’ downtown district. The community’s architecture and site plan by Matthew Kragh, AIA, of MHK Architecture & Planning ties Naples Square into the fabric of the Old Naples street grid system and into current and future plans of the Naples Pathway Committee and the City of Naples. Pavered streetscapes and sidewalks, including fountains at each of Naples Square’s signature roundabouts that were completed in 2016, have embraced and transformed existing city streets to create a cohesiveness that unites every element of downtown. Vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic can now flow from 10th Street to Bayfront on a redesigned segment of 3rd Avenue South between 10th and Goodlette-Frank Road within Naples Square.
The landscape design along the redesigned segment of 3rd Avenue South was created by Christian Andrea of Architectural Land Design, Inc. Andrea’s design has brought a lush, park-like ambiance to Naples Square while gracefully merging the pavered roadways, entry water features, and the fountain roundabouts with Washingtonia and Medjool Date palm trees and a mix of plantings. Oak trees will ultimately create a canopy to provide shade and further soften the building mass. Plantings that will perform well in Naples’ heat and humidity are also incorporated in the design, and include Clusia, Variegated Dwarf Schefflera, and Bougainvillea. Asian Jasmine, a carpet-like ground cover, is used in the pedestrian areas. Naples Square’s key intersections, crossings, and building entry features are identified by tall palms. Building corners that are adjacent to the community’s roundabouts are softened by tall, scattered height Washingtonia palms.
The development of Naples Square is indicative of a national trend toward transforming downtown areas from simply serving as attractive destinations to places where people can be fully engaged in every aspect of city life on a day-to-day basis. The trend is redefining how individuals interact with their surroundings and with one another. Rather than serving the more transient interests of those who live in outlying areas, this new form of urbanism presents an opportunity to live in a way that puts every aspect of life within walking distance, including dining, grocery shopping, retail stores, entertainment venues, theater, healthcare and specialty services. The trend is particularly evident in smaller to mid-sized cities such as Naples where attractions are concentrated in relatively small geographic areas. This type of walk-able lifestyle is especially attractive to Baby Boomers and retirees who put a premium on active, healthy living and convenience. The Naples downtown district’s magical combination of sun-kissed beaches, an eclectic assortment of shopping and gallery venues, sumptuous eateries, and late-night gathering places has a magnetic appeal that cannot be denied. Yet, for all its charm and vibrancy, there are elements within the downtown scene that have remained disconnected and, in many ways, inaccessible to those who cherish an urban-like, walk-able lifestyle. Naples Square is providing that lifestyle.
“Walkability is very important to today’s homebuyers,” says Anthony Solomon, Executive Vice President of The Ronto Group. “We see people prioritizing a more active and healthier lifestyle. Walkability and the creation of a visually appealing, park-like atmosphere that would enhance the look, feel and connectivity of downtown Naples were critical considerations during our design process and we feel we have achieved those goals. The residents of Naples Square are able to leave their car at home and walk to some of the best beaches, dining, shopping and entertainment available anywhere.”
Visit the Naples Square Sales Gallery at 100 Goodlette-Frank Road South downtown or visit Naples Square online at NaplesSquare.com.