General Questions

The key components of The Athens Group’s proposed redevelopment plan include the following:

  • The creation of a world-class destination resort that embraces the site’s natural attributes within a cohesive coastal setting
  • The replacement of the existing 319-room hotel with a new 220-room luxury hotel, of which up to 20 of the guest rooms are hotel condominium units (up to 10 condominiums that each can be configured into two hotel rooms)
  • The renovation and improvement of the beloved HB’s on the Gulf and the Sunset Beach Bar for the community to enjoy as always
  • The retention and improvement of the 104 acres of recreation and open space pursuant to a restrictive easement to continue to provide in perpetuity expansive recreation and open space for the resort, its neighbors and the community at large
  • 70 acres of the 104 acres of recreation and open space restricted area will remain as permeable land in perpetuity order to provide preferential flood insurance premiums for the entire City of Naples
  • Unparalleled resort activities, including golf and tennis
  • The addition of luxury beachfront condominiums and golf-side residences into the resort experience – totaling up to 185 residences
  • The creation of the Gulf Shore Garden along Gulf Shore Boulevard – a lushly landscaped pedestrian and vehicular experience that utilizes native plantings and natural materials
  • The addition of a small Market Square for guests, residents and neighbors that will be anchored by a restaurant with a bowling alley and the resort’s full-service spa and fitness facility
  • The improvement of the resort’s parking experience through an enhanced valet service program coupled with on-site parking underneath the hotel and the Market Square
  • The reduction of the resort’s total meeting space from 24,000 square feet to 12,000 square feet
  • The redesign and improvement of the hotel’s and the conference center’s parking, on-site access and circulation to reduce the traffic on Gulf Shore Boulevard

Yes. The Athens Group will replace the existing 319-room hotel with a new 220-room luxury hotel.

Golf and tennis will continue to be an important part of the resort lifestyle for the benefit of the hotel’s guests, the property’s residents and the Naples community. Additional recreational amenities and experiences are expected to be included in the resort to elevate the entire experience.

Yes. Both HB’s on the Gulf and the Sunset Beach Bar will be renovated and will re-open to the public at the same time the new hotel opens.

  • At the new resort, parking will be provided underneath the hotel and the Market Square, and under each of the residential buildings to accommodate the resort’s parking needs.
  • Traffic engineering studies have concluded that traffic trips will be reduced by more than 10 percent on Gulf Shore Boulevard North. This is due to many factors including 99 fewer hotel rooms, a 50 percent reduction in the meeting/conference room space of the current hotel, and parking underneath each building that will eliminate much of the necessary valet trips along Gulf Shore Boulevard North.

The Athens Group anticipates that the project’s site work will begin in mid-2021. The project is expected to be developed in three phases, with the first phase consisting of the development of the new luxury hotel, the Market Square, and the beachfront condominiums along with the redevelopment of the Clubhouse conference center. The first phase is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.

The operator for the luxury hotel has not been determined at this time.

After three generations of owning and managing the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club, the family decided to explore options for the future that would best serve not only their family, but their hometown and friends and neighbors.

The Athens Group was selected by the Watkins family because of their vision for the future of the property, their understanding of and sensitivity to the Naples community, and their first-class development portfolio of authentic high-end hotels, resorts and residences that they have created over the past 30 years. The Athens Group is committed to embracing the legacy of The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club by preserving the hotel use, beach access, HB’s on the Gulf, and the Sunset Beach Bar, along with forever preserving the resort’s expansive recreation and open space in the heart of Naples. You can learn more about The Athens Group and its portfolio at athensdevco.com.

Resort Amenities & Public Access

The community, including our neighbors, will continue to enjoy beach access, HB’s on the Gulf, the Sunset Beach Bar, the resort’s spa, the golf course and the tennis center, along with all of the hotel’s enhanced food and beverage facilities, including the Market Square restaurant and the grab n’ go at the same prices as the hotel guests will experience. The Athens Group will build a pedestrian sidewalk and landscaped median along the southern edge of the property line to provide enhanced direct pedestrian access to the beach from Gulf Shore Boulevard along 8th Avenue North.

Athens will be retaining and renovating the very popular HB’s on the Gulf and the Sunset Beach Bar for the enjoyment of the hotel’s guests and the community. Athens is also planning additional food and beverage concepts. And, Athens is planning a restaurant with a bowling alley and an artisanal grab n’ go facility in the Market Square. This restaurant will replace Broadwell’s, and the grab n’ go facility will replace Seminole. The hotel will also have a small sundry shop. There may also be some small retail shops on the northern edge of the hotel and possibly in the Market Square.

Athens’ plan envisions the renovation and improvement of HB’s on the Gulf and the Sunset Beach Bar so they can continue to be enjoyed by the resort’s guests and residents and the Naples community. Athens recognizes and embraces the importance of these beachfront facilities for the community and the resort’s residents and guests, and keeping them is a critical component of our plan.

The resort will feature a small Market Square for its guests, residents and neighbors that will be anchored by a restaurant with a bowling alley that will replace Broadwell’s and the resort’s comprehensive spa and fitness facility. A recreational outfitter and an artisanal grab n’ go food and beverage facility that will replace Seminole will round out the offerings, along with the possibility of a few small retail shops. Additional Market Square facilities may be limited to the resort’s guests and residents.

Public access to the beach will not be limited or impacted by the new resort. Hotel guests will continue to enjoy access to resort-related amenities and recreational activities offered on site, and condominium residents will have access to private facilities, as well. The new hotel’s public areas will remain open along with the resort’s amenities including HB’s on the Gulf, the Sunset Beach Bar, and the hotel’s other food and beverage facilities such as the Market Square restaurant, the grab n’ go store and of course, the golf course and tennis center.

Yes. The spa and fitness center will service the hotel’s guests, the property’s residents, and the community.

Golf and tennis will continue to be important features of the resort. The golf course and possibly the tennis courts will be closed during the initial phase of construction as the property’s recreation and open space facilities, including the golf and tennis facilities, are improved along with additional recreational facilities. Following completion of the project’s first phase, the public will continue to have access to the property’s golf course and tennis facilities. Athens also recognizes the importance of the property’s expansive recreation and open space for the community, and its improvement is a critical component of our plan. As part of Athens’ plan for the property, Athens has imposed a restrictive easement that will restrict 104 acres of the property’s 125 acres to recreation and open space for future generations in perpetuity. As part of this restriction, 70 acres of the 104 acres will remain as permeable land to ensure that the City and its residents continue to receive preferential flood insurance premiums.

The golf course will be closed during the initial phase of construction in order to accommodate the on-site construction access road, the construction staging area, and employee parking. Athens is still determining whether the tennis courts will remain open during this initial phase.

We would like to continue the Summer Jazz series but understand that parking remains a challenge for this unique event. We will be working with the community and the City to preserve this event, but we do not have any definitive plans at this time.

The current Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club has approximately 24,000 square feet of meeting room space, and the proposed hotel will have approximately half that amount at 12,000 square feet. The proposed hotel will still be able to accommodate the local Naples groups that have enjoyed the property in the past such as the Naples Rotary Club, the Forum Club, and Minnesota Men, along with the City’s social and charitable events. The existing conference center will be redeveloped, and it is contemplated that it will be renamed the Clubhouse.

During the initial phase of construction, the conference center will be closed down for renovation and improvement, including a new arrival experience, the creation of the Market Square along its northern end, the construction of additional on-site parking underneath the Market Square podium, and the construction of a new, hidden loading dock facility that will eliminate the need for delivery vehicles to make their turning movements on Gulf Shore Boulevard. It is contemplated that the conference center will be renamed the Clubhouse and will reopen concurrently with the opening of the new hotel.

We plan to continue to accommodate important local organizations’ meetings and events, as well as local traditions such as the triathlon and Senior Skip Day, after the hotel reopens. We recognize, however, that we need to study how these events affect existing parking conditions so we can develop a parking management plan that better accommodates these groups. During the construction of the first phase of the project, we will not be able to accommodate these and other organizations and events, as most of the current hotel’s facilities will be demolished and the conference center will be closed as it is renovated.

The Athens Group expects to offer memberships for golf, racquet and spa enthusiasts, though the details are not yet available.

Traffic, Parking, Pedestrians, Loading Docks, and Trash Removal

According to the Traffic Impact Study prepared by Stantec and reviewed and accepted by the City of Naples, the project will generate less traffic than is currently generated from the existing hotel. This is primarily a function of less hotel rooms (220 instead of 319), less meeting space (12,000 square feet instead of 24,000 square feet), and a better parking and traffic circulation design and program, including the consolidation of hotel parking underneath the hotel and the Market Square, which will eliminate unnecessary valet traffic along Gulf Shore Boulevard North to and from numerous parking lots as is the case today.

Athens will be providing 552 parking spaces for the hotel, Market Square and the golf and tennis facilities as required by the parking plan that was approved by the City Council. All parking will be provided under the hotel and Market Square, and in adjacent surface parking areas along with an enhanced valet parking program. Additionally, each residential condominium will have its own parking garage for its residents and guests as required by the City’s code. Athens will also be providing an additional 11 parking spaces to the community for enhanced beach access at the 8th Avenue North public parking area next to the hotel.

As required by the City of Naples review and approval process for the project, The Athens Group and its approved parking and traffic consultant, Stantec, created a valet parking plan, a parking needs analysis, and a traffic impact study that analyzed and addressed the resort’s parking needs and traffic impacts.

As the number of hotel rooms is being reduced from 319 guest rooms to 220 guest rooms and the current meeting space is being reduced from 24,000 square feet to approximately 12,000 square feet in the new hotel, the hotel’s parking requirements and traffic demand (as opposed to the residential parking requirements, which is provided separately from the hotel’s parking) will be reduced.

Recognizing the importance of improving the resort’s traffic patterns for the neighborhood, the community and the resort’s guests, The Athens Group studied vehicular and pedestrian movements along with improvements to Gulf Shore Boulevard in order to create a plan that is expected to reduce the resort’s overall traffic with sufficient on-site parking under the hotel and the Market Square, along with an enhanced valet parking program. By consolidating the hotel’s parking underneath these buildings, traffic will be reduced on Gulf Shore Boulevard, as the valet attendants will no longer need to shuttle cars to and from the hotel and/or the Clubhouse conference center to multiple hotel parking lots that are spread out on the property as is the case today.

On-site, under-podium parking for the hotel and the Market Square should alleviate much of the need for valet attendants to cross Gulf Shore Boulevard.

Valet parking at the hotel will be available to everyone who would like to enjoy the resort’s restaurants, meeting facilities, spa, golf, and other public amenities although it may be restricted from time to time during high volume events such as the Summer Jazz concert series.

Yes, the bike lanes along Gulf Shore Boulevard will be retained. With respect to South Golf Drive, it is our understanding that the City is considering a series of improvements, including the addition of bike lanes. We will work with the City and our neighbors on any street improvements that require our assistance or input.

The hotel’s porte cochere will be expanded to improve the traffic flow with an enhanced valet team, increased vehicle stacking capability, and the creation of on-site parking underneath the hotel. It is envisioned that the hotel arrival area will continue to have three lanes for drop-off and pick-up. In addition, on the golf-side of the property in front of the Clubhouse conference center, there will be a new and expanded porte cochere with increased vehicle stacking capacity and the creation of on-site parking underneath the Market Square in order to provide improved conference event parking that will be serviced by the enhanced valet parking team.

The amount of the City’s public parking on 8th Avenue North next to the hotel will be improved with the addition of 11 additional parking spaces by Athens along with additional landscaping. In addition, Athens will construct a sidewalk from Gulf Shore Boulevard along the resort’s southern property line to provide improved pedestrian access along 8th Avenue North.

Yes. Currently, there are multiple pedestrian crossing points across Gulf Shore Boulevard that can be made safer and also more efficient for vehicular traffic on the street. The Athens Group’s plan consolidates the multiple pedestrian crossings into one at-grade crossing that is being currently called the “Coconut Connector” along with the creation of a landscape median that separates the north-bound traffic from the south-bound traffic. As a result, there will be less interruption of vehicular traffic along the street, and the safety of the pedestrian experience will be enhanced with improved lighting and other pedestrian safety technologies.

In order to reduce traffic and to maximize the resort’s parking flow, all hotel and Clubhouse conference center guest parking will be serviced by the enhanced valet parking team. As a result, Athens does not envision any self-parking options at this time.

The hotel’s loading docks will be located in a concealed area that will be part of the renovated Clubhouse conference center, with an additional hotel loading dock in the hotel garage that is smaller than the other docks. These dock locations will improve the Gulf Shore Boulevard traffic flow by eliminating the need for delivery tracks to utilize the street to maneuver in order to access the loading docks, as is the current situation, since there will now be adequate space on-site for delivery trucks to conduct all necessary maneuvers internally.

The redevelopment will further improve the current traffic situation by providing a new and improved loading dock that will be concealed from the public’s view, with additional on-site delivery truck circulation space so that all delivery trucks can be maneuvered and accommodated on-site without the use of the surrounding public roads, which is not the case today. There will be no more delays from delivery trucks backing out onto the street and blocking traffic.

The resort’s trash will continue to be consolidated and picked up from a shielded facility in the center of the golf course, as is the case today.

Project Plans and Construction Management

No single-family homes are included in The Athens Group’s proposed plan, which instead envisions luxury beachfront condominiums and luxury golf-side residences within a high-end resort setting. The vast majority of the property, including the golf and tennis recreation and open space area will be preserved as recreation and open space.

The Athens Group’s detailed Construction Management Plan addresses the important construction planning issues such as construction staging, haul routes, employee parking, the construction road through the golf course and its direct entrance from US 41 in order to eliminate construction traffic from the adjacent residential neighborhoods, security, construction fencing, noise, dust and vibration, in order to minimize the construction impact on our neighbors and the community. This plan has been vetted with the City and the project’s neighbors and stakeholders, and it reflects their input. During the resort’s redevelopment, The Construction Management Plan is available to be downloaded here. The Athens Group will also have a dedicated construction contact person who will be available 24 hours a day to address all construction-related concerns.

The Athens Group’s Construction Management Plan provides detailed information on Athens plan to mitigate noise and dust during construction. During the resort’s redevelopment, The Athens Group will also have a dedicated construction contact person who will be available 24 hours a day to address all construction-related concerns. The Construction Management Plan is available to be downloaded here.

Residential Condominiums

Yes. Please feel free to provide us with your name and contact information, and we will follow up with you as the sales program develops.

Pricing has not yet been determined for the residential components of the resort. Ultimately, the price will be determined by the market.

The residences within the resort will enjoy all of the amenities of the hotel such as the hotel pools, 24-hour room service, housekeeping and concierge services. In addition, they will enjoy private pools, gardens, the exclusive beach side Surf Club, the golf-side family recreational facility, and other amenities commensurate with best-in-class luxury residential condominiums.

Up to 10 of the golf-side condominiums will be part of the hotel rental pool. These hotel condominiums may be added by each owner to the hotel rental pool for use by the hotel’s guests. Each of these condominiums can be utilized as two separate guest rooms, for a total of up to 20 guest rooms. The decision to utilize a condominium for a hotel guest room will be the decision of the owner of the condominium.

Other than the hotel condominiums, the residential condominiums are not intended to be part of any type of short-term rental program; accordingly, the condominium covenants will provide appropriate restrictions on short-term rental use such as Airbnb.

Project Approval Process

The Athens Group has received approvals for all discretionary entitlements necessary to proceed with the development of the Naples Beach Club Hotel, Residences and Golf Course. A summary of those entitlements is included here. The Athens Group continues to work through the extensive permitting processes with local, state and federal agencies to ensure its responsible development of the property.

 

The City of Naples has a multi-step review and approval process that includes City planning staff and many City departments, such as Streets and Stormwater, FEMA and the fire department, as well as the Design Review Board, the Planning Advisory Board, and the Naples City Council. In addition, key components of the project will be thoroughly reviewed and approved by the state, such as its stormwater runoff and water quality plans.

The Naples Beach Club Hotel, Residences and Golf Course project received unanimous preliminary Design Review Board approval with some conditions on November 28, 2018.

The project received unanimous approval from the Planning Advisory Board on March 13, 2019, after two hearings for a Small-Scale Comp Plan Amendment, a Rezoning for a Planned Development, a Rezoning of the R3T-18 zoned area, a Traffic Impact Statement, and a Development Agreement. These same documents were unanimously approved by the City Council on April 17, 2019, and were approved again on May 1, 2019 with respect to the second reading of the resolutions and ordinances.

Following the first round of PAB and City Council approvals, City staff reviewed the development plan through the required Administrative Site Plan (ASP) process. The ASP application was recommended for approval with some conditions by the City of Naples planning staff on August 26, 2019.

On August 27, 2019, The Athens Group submitted the following project entitlement applications to the City: Conditional Use, PD Rezoning, Development Agreement, Parking Needs Analysis, Valet Parking Plan, and Supplemental Traffic Impact Statement. The Naples Planning Advisory Board reviewed and considered the applications at a public hearing on Friday, October 11, 2019, and the PAB approved the applications by four 6-to-1 votes.

The Naples City Council voted unanimously to approve the entitlement applications on November 20, 2019, and again voted to approve the resolutions and ordinances with respect to a second reading on December 4, 2019.

The three Environmental Resource Permits detailed below regulate stormwater discharge offsite and follow strict guidelines as required by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Based on the analysis provided by the project’s civil engineer, the redevelopment of the hotel, residences and golf course will decrease water volume to the Gulf of Mexico while improving discharge water quality.

Stormwater permits received:

  • FDEP Environmental Resource Permit number 387544-001 (redevelopment west of Gulf Shore Blvd. North)
  • FDEP Environmental Resource Permit number 0387536-001 EG (redevelopment of Gulf Shore Blvd.)
  • SFWMD Environmental Resource Permit number 11-103750-P (redevelopment of landward of Gulf Shore Blvd.)

Subdivision Plat Approval:

Resolution 2020-14523 was approved by City Council on September 16, 2020, for a subdivision replat located at 851 and 852 Gulf Shore Blvd. North, 1090 Crayton Road, and 485, 801 and 825 South Golf Drive. The Subdivision replat was recorded in Collier County within Plat book 68, pages 52-56. (Resolution approved unanimously)

The purpose of the replat was to create multiple tracts that are consistent with the zoning district boundaries established by previously approved rezoning entitlements.

For more information, please contact: info@athensdevco.com