Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

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

  • The creation of a world-class destination that embraces the site’s natural attributes within a cohesive coastal resort setting
  • The replacement of the existing 319-room hotel with a new 220-room luxury hotel, of which 20 of the guest rooms are hotel condominium units (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 of the golf course pursuant to a restrictive easement to continue to provide in perpetuity expansive green space for the resort, its neighbors and the community at large
  • The improvement of the existing 18-hole championship golf course along with the tennis center
  • The addition of luxury beachfront condominiums and golf-side residences into the resort experience – totaling up to 195 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 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 each building including the hotel, the Market Square and the conference center, which will be renamed the Club House
  • 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.

Yes. The Athens Group will maintain and improve the golf course on the property; additionally, the golf course will be legally restricted from any future use other than golf course or green space. The golf course will be available to resort residents and hotel guests, golf members, and the general public.

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.

Yes. At the new resort, parking will be provided underneath the hotel, the Market Square, the conference center/Clubhouse, and each of the residential buildings to accommodate the resort’s parking needs.

Traffic engineering studies indicate that traffic trips will be reduced by 15 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, subject to the City’s and the State’s extensive review and approval processes. The project is expected to be developed in four phases, with the first phase consisting of the development of the new luxury hotel, the Market Square, and most of 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, HBs on the Gulf, the Sunset Beach Bar and the golf course – a treasured open space in the heart of Naples.  You can learn more about The Athens Group 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 and the golf course, 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 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.

We 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. We also are planning an additional food and beverage concept in the hotel.  And, we are planning a restaurant 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 will also be some small retail shops on the northern edge of the hotel and possibly in the Market Square.

Our 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.  We recognize and embrace 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 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 will 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.

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

Yes. We recognize and embrace the importance of the expansive green space of the golf course for the community, and its retention is a critical component of our plan. The golf course and the tennis center will also be improved and will remain open to the community for their use and enjoyment. The golf course will also include a restrictive easement that will ensure it will remain green space for future generations in perpetuity.

If feasible, The Athens Group will keep the golf course and tennis courts open during the resort’s development, except when these facilities are undergoing renovation and improvement during the first phase of the project.

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 renamed the Clubhouse.

The conference center will initially be closed down for renovation and improvement, including a new arrival experience, the creation of the Market Square, 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. 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 does a better job of accommodating 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 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.

The Athens Group and its parking and traffic experts are studying current hotel operations to better understand the hotel’s special community events, which historically have resulted in neighborhood parking problems. It is Athens’ intention to develop a parking management plan to prevent similar parking problems in the future. It is extremely important to us as the owner and a member of the community that our parking and valet solutions meet the high service and convenience requirements of a luxury hotel.

As part of the City of Naples review and approval process for the proposed project, The Athens Group will be required to create a valet parking plan, a parking needs analysis, and a traffic impact study that will address the proposed resort’s parking needs and traffic impacts and it will be subject to the City’s review and approval.

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 will be 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 continues to study vehicular and pedestrian movements along with improvements to Gulf Shore Boulevard in order to create a plan that is designed to reduce the resort’s overall traffic with sufficient on-site parking under the hotel, the Clubhouse conference center and the Market Square, along with an enhanced valet parking program. By consolidating the hotel’s parking underneath the hotel 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 Clubhouse conference center 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 stacking of vehicles, 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 stacking of vehicles and the creation of enhanced on-site parking underneath the Market Square and the Clubhouse conference center 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 remain unchanged. 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 called the “Coconut Connector.” 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.

The hotel’s loading docks will be located in a concealed area that will be part of the renovated Clubhouse conference center. This location 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 proposed 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 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 golf-side residences within a luxury resort setting. The vast majority of the property, including the golf course, will not be developed and will instead be preserved as open space.

Once The Athens Group completes the City review and approval process, they will work with the City (and the property’s neighbors) on important construction planning issues such as construction staging and haul routes, in order to minimize the construction impact on our neighbors and the community. A construction management plan will be developed for the City’s approval that will control the construction process. 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.

Once The Athens Group completes the City review and approval processes, they will work with the City (and the property’s neighbors) on important construction procedures, including noise and dust mitigation, in order to minimize the construction impacts on its neighbors and the community. A construction management plan will be developed for the City’s approval that will control the construction process. 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.

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.

The average size of a residential condominium is expected to be approximately 3,500 square feet.

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 beach side Surf Club, the golf-side family barn, and other amenities commensurate with best-in-class luxury residential condominiums.

Ten 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 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 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, the key components of the project will be thoroughly reviewed and approved by Collier County and the state.

The proposed project received unanimous preliminary Design Review Board approval with some conditions on November 28, 2018.

The Naples Beach Club Redevelopment 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 then again on May 1, 2019, for 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 is scheduled to consider the current project entitlement applications on November 20, 2019.

The Athens Group has successfully worked with the City of Naples and the community for more than a year on the project approval process.

In order to redevelop the property, The Athens Group needs approvals from the City of Naples for numerous applications, including a Small-Scale Comp Plan Amendment, a Rezoning for a Planned Development, a Rezoning of the R3T-18 zoned area, a Development Agreement, a Conditional Use Permit for hotel use (even though there is a hotel on the property today), a Parking Needs Analysis, and a Valet Parking Plan. The project also requires a variance for all construction seaward of the CCCL (the Coastal Construction Control Line). Several Administrative Site Plan deviations are included in the project applications, such as the length of the building facade and the building height to accommodate the iconic, non-occupiable cupola for the hotel.

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