Andrea Stetson, The News-Press Tucked away between 3rd Avenue South and 10th Street South is a big square. Inside that square are four smaller squares that make up the new Naples Square. Just a few years ago, this plot of land in Downtown Naples was known as Grand Central Station a strip of mostly empty storefronts and a few shops. Now it is becoming such a popular place to live that sales have already begun on phase three of the development. Phase one is sold out and residents have moved in. Phase two is under construction, but only 18 units are left.
Residents say it’s the location and the newness that attracted them to the square in Naples.
“We like the area very much and Naples Square was a new condominium coming up,” said Ramesh Churi who lives there with his wife Kate. “We went there because we loved the location. There is so much in walking distance. It is walking distance to Cambier Park and tennis and 5th Avenue. The location was a very important thing for us. And the apartments were a nice size for us.”
Churi also likes all the amenities.
“It has a small swimming pool, but it is not crowded. We liked the gym and the social room, and I think it is done quite nicely.”
Mary and Jake Davis like living in a newer place that has more amenities and is in a quiet area.
“We were in Old Naples, but because of our age we wanted an elevator. And we didn’t have an elevator,” Mary Davis said.
Naples Square has an elevator that goes to all floors, making life easier for the Davis family.
“Everything is new,” Davis continued. “I like the space. I like the people. I like the covered parking. The grounds and the landscaping are beautiful. Before we were in the flight path of the Naples Airport and we don’t have that noise here.”
Jake Davis enjoys relaxing in the club room watching the news on the big flat screen television.
“This is a nice club room,” he said.
Each building has a large interior courtyard with a pool, tiki huts, fire pits, and gardens. Each building also has a social room. Then there will be two fitness rooms for the four buildings to share.
Phase one and two of Naples Square are almost identical. Each building has 73 residences. Some sections are four stories while others are five stories. That is because the buildings that run along the main streets in Naples are limited by the city to four stories, while the interior buildings can go higher. Each building has a garage on the ground floor and the patio and pool area one level higher. There are seven models to choose from including one two-story model.
Units range in size from 1,268 square feet to 2,934 square feet and range in price from $630,000 to $1.4 million. There are two bedrooms plus den, three bedrooms plus den and the two-story three-bedroom model that has a large flex room. Phase two will be ready for move in January 2017.
Wanda Cross, director of Sales, said the last two buildings will be bigger and better.
“We listened to the buyers and they wanted larger units,” Cross said.
So units there will range in size from 1,460 square feet to 3,600 square feet. Prices in phase three range from $695,000 go to 1.6 million.
“We just released building three,” Cross continued. “When we release, we go to reservations first and then to contract when we have enough reservations so probably that one will be ready the middle of 2018.”
Buildings three and four will have 77 units each. These last two buildings will also have eight models to choose from.
All the units are finished and move in ready. There are 10-foot ceilings, 8-foot solid core doors, granite or quartz kitchen counters and 24 inch tile. The newer buildings will have gas cooking and Bosch appliance packages.
Barbara Geisenburg likes that many things that are upgrades in other places are standard at Naples Square.
“What we paid for as extras in the high rises were standard in these units,” she explained. “Granite in the kitchen we always had to pay for that, stainless steel appliances that was always an add on in other places. As far as the building is concerned. I think it is a tremendous value for what I paid for this unit.”
Geisenburg, like most residents there, was first attracted to Naples Square because of the location.
“When I first saw the ad in the paper for Naples Square, this goes back to January 2014, I sort of had an epiphany that this was where I wanted to live,” she said. “Location was an important part of my decision.”
She likes being close to Sugden Park, Tin City, and the beach.
“I grew up in New York and I am used to having people and action around me,” she said.
Geisenburg was the second person to sign up to buy a unit at Naples Square and now that she is a full-time resident there, she is loving it.
“The building itself – I love the clean, uncluttered lines. It is nice and bright and cheery when you walk into this lobby. The best thing about this building is the staff. I am just very, very happy in Naples Square.”
Barbara and George Chin of Chicago have visited Naples about half a dozen times the past two years and have been looking for a place to buy. They recently purchased a unit in phase two and are looking forward to moving in next year.
“We have been looking in Naples for quite a while,” George Chin began. “We were looking for something we can use seasonally and then live permanently. Naples Square fit our picture. It was in a great location.”
Chin said he liked the large size of the units and the amenities. He said he also liked the good selection of quality countertops and flooring.
Cross said phase one was totally sold out just as it opened in January. The three models there are on leaseback. Two of the models planned for phase two have also already been sold and Cross expects the last 18 units in that building to be gone soon. Cross said there are many reasons why Naples Square is so popular. She said it is a good price for a place to live in Downtown Naples.
“It’s the proximity to downtown,” she said. “Yesterday I walked from here to the City Dock and it was nothing. We have a lot of active people that bike ride. You can walk to the beach in about 15 minutes or it is five minutes by bike.”
Residents can get to Cambier Park by bicycle in five minutes or they can walk to Tin City by using the tunnel under the bridge on U.S. 41.
“The naysayers said nobody will ever buy here because you are on the east side of 41
But they are buying,” Cross said. “There is nothing new downtown like this, and our price point is still less than the resales.”